This is crazy news for fans of the first two seasons of the YouTube original series sequel to the hit film franchise of “The Karate Kid” which is as we all know by now named “Cobra Kai” the show has now two seasons under it’s belt, and a third on the way. The seasons have been big big hits for the media giant YouTube so the news that they’re going to not be airing anymore seasons is shocking! As the news now has hit that Cobra Kai will be moving to a new streaming platform for its upcoming third season. The Google-owned online video service is in the process of releasing Season 3 of the popular show to producing studio Sony Pictures TV amid a retreat from premium original scripted programming.
Sony TV had taken Cobra Kai out, with all major streamers expressing interest, sources said. I hear the field of suitors has been narrowed down, with Netflix and Hulu leading the short list of contenders for the Karate Kid sequel series, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. Nobody has yet to really comment but along with exclusive rights to Season 3 of Cobra Kai, the new outlet will have access on a non-exclusive basis to the first two seasons of the show for fans who haven’t seen the first two seasons. That has been part of the negotiation with YouTube, which had ownership in and exclusive global rights to the first two seasons under the original license agreement with Sony TV.
Back in 2018 YouTube announced a strategic move from a SVOD to AVOD model and doing away from original scripted programming to focus on unscripted fare which is cheaper to produce, and so all YouTube scripted original shows to air since then has been canceled except for Cobra Kai and Liza on Demand, starring popular YouTube personality Liza Koshy, which have been renewed for additional seasons.
After a record-setting Season 2 premiere of Cobra Kai, YouTube in April 2019 ordered a third season. I hear YouTube remained committed to airing the completed third season but notified its Sony TV partners that they won’t be commissioning a fourth season. Looking to secure a future for the show beyond Season 3, Sony TV asked for permission to shop the upcoming season to an outlet that, in success, would order additional seasons. Negotiations between the two sides ensued. They are nearing a successful conclusion but YouTube would not formally release the series until a new home has been secured but all interest in Cobra Kai by other streamers was fueled, at least in part, by the dearth of high-end scripted programming coming down the pike as the Hollywood production shutdown is well into its third month thanks to our unfriendly Covid19 Pandemic! A finished season of a popular title with built-in audience is considered a hot commodity in the current environment… But who will end up with the Sony TV series? Previously another scripted series that had been originally set up at YouTube, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” moved to Showtime ahead of its debut and has been renewed for a second season by the ViacomCBS network.
The freshman season of Cobra Kai was a massive breakout hit, topping 55 million YouTube views for Episode 1 and ranking as the sixth-most Google-searched TV show in 2018, and Season 2 picked up following the shocking cliffhanger featuring the return of John Kreese (Martin Kove). When a new rivalry between opposing dojos is born in the aftermath of Cobra Kai’s controversial win at the All Valley Championships, Daniel (Macchio) realizes his next countermove is to open his own karate training school called Miyagi-Do, in honor of his mentor Mr. Miyagi.
Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, and Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Together, the trio conceived the new Karate Kid storyline that picks up decades after the original film.