UPDATE 3/25/15: Now it's official. The BBC has indeed sacked Jeremy Clarkson. It's over.
Well, it appears as though the BBC is going to take the golden goose that is Top Gear...and throw it right into a spinning jet engine.
that the Top Gear "fracas" saga will end tomorrow, when the BBC's Director General, Lord Hall, will announce that the broadcaster's internal investigation found that Clarkson did indeed attack a subordinate, Oisin Tymon, in a fit of rage after learning that a post-shoot meal would not be available to him.
As a result, the BBC will terminate Clarkson, whose contract was up for renewal at the end of this season anyway. Lip service will apparently be paid to the Top Gear host's contributions, and what a great broadcaster he is, but whatever—they're still gonna fire him.
Clarkson will undoubtedly get a new deal from a rival network, or perhaps something even more interesting—The Telegraph suggests Netflix might be in the running to sign him, which would be a huge media story in and of itself, so stay tuned.
The BBC, for its part, will learn firsthand just how irrelevant Top Gear will be sans Clarkson, as it plans to keep airing the show without him. The Telegraph says they're trying to sign Radio 2 host and car collector Chris Evans to fill the slot. Yawn.
Bottom line: Top Gear without Clarkson will be a debacle on the level of The Office after Steve Carell left.
There's no word yet on whether James May and Richard Hammond will stay on (their contracts are also expiring). If they're smart, they'll take advantage of their impending free agency, keep their wagons hitched to Clarkson, and go where he goes (assuming the offer to do so is made). Because that trio is the show, no matter where it airs and what it's called.
Those guys will all get paid. Handsomely.
The BBC will discover that a Clarkson-free Top Gear is no different than the inferior regionalized versions of the show they license out to other markets. And it's gonna learn the hard way.