Photo: CR: YouTube premium
Photo: CR: YouTube premium

YouTube relinquishes Atlanta-produced ‘Cobra Kai,” which may end up on Hulu or Netflix

YouTube has decided to drop Atlanta-produced “Cobra Kai” and has let the production company Sony shop it to streaming services, according to an exclusive story on Deadline.com.

The first two seasons of “The Karate Kid” sequel series are available on the subscription service YouTube Premium and has been embraced by both critics and fans alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 94% positive rating from critics and 97% positive rating from fans. 

The series brings back Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso) and William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) playing their original 1980s era characters as middle-aged adults who haven’t quite gotten over the past. 

The trio of creators (two of whom did “Hot Tub Time Machine”) were all fans of the original films and have been able to infuse the new series with humor without sacrificing the heart. 

 The first episode of season two is free for everybody and has been seen, at least in part, 85 million times with 319,000 thumbs up versus 46,000 thumbs down.

Season three was also shot in metro Atlanta (but set in California) last year. It is finished and ready to go.

With no new production for the past two-plus months, the pool of original scripted shows will soon start drying up. Deadline says there’s major interest from the likes of Hulu and Netflix in part because this show already has a sizable following. 

YouTube launched its subscription service in 2015 and invested in some scripted shows but by 2018 decided to focus more on reality programming while changing its name from YouTube Red to YouTube Premium. 

According to Deadline, YouTube cleared the third season but did not commit to a fourth. Sony is hoping any new streaming service home will be willing to go beyond season three. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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