For those who are not happy with YouTube’s policy of premium content available only to YouTube Premium subscribers, here is an appetizer for binge watching. The streaming service has awarded a season 3 run for the critically praised ‘Karate Kid’ sequel ‘Cobra Kai‘ on Thursday. Moreover, viewers can watch YouTube’s flagbearer show for free. The third season of ‘Cobra Kai,’ with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles will debut in 2020.
Season 2 of the series started rolling from April 24 with Macchio and Zabka playing the arch-rivals from the 1984 flick ‘Karate Kid,’ returns for more in the YouTube revival series. ‘Cobra Kai’ picks up the storyline after three decades since the climactic showdown in ‘Karate Kid.’ The plot centers on the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio, and Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka. ‘Cobra Kai’ also introduces the second generation of students and the prestigious All-Valley Championships grudge match.
‘Cobra Kai’ enjoys an unmatched history among the shows revived after a long gap. The iconic show made its return with the lead actors reprising their roles after 35 years. It completed a hugely successful first season with 55 million YouTube views for episode 1 and ranking sixth-most Google-searched TV show in 2018. The series is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who will continue serving as showrunners in the third season. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce the show for Overbrook Entertainment along with Sony Pictures Television Studios. Susan Ekins, Macchio and Zabka also join the project as executive producers.
To make the third season more irresistible, YouTube has announced that all its original programming will be available for free, with ads, from coming Fall. Season 2 of ‘Cobra Kai’ will be available for free from September 11, with one episode airing in each week. All episodes of season 1 will be available free for two weeks, from August 29 to September 11.
“For today’s viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities,” Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube, said in an official announcement. “While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically- acclaimed originals with our global audience,” he added.
YouTube revealed its new strategy of releasing premium originals for free streaming last Fall and called the radical shift as a ‘Single Slate’ strategy. According to Variety, YouTube originals collected more than 2.5 billion views from its roster of 50 shows last year. The streamer looks forward to boosting the number of views even more with the ‘Single Slate’ strategy.
Cover Image Courtesy: YouTube