The YouTube Premium original Cobra Kai, a sequel series to 1984’s The Karate Kid film, has found a new home. Netflix has acquired the rights to the entire series including the unaired third season, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed.
YouTube Premium, originally debuting as YouTube Red, offers pay-to-view original scripted content, contrasting with the user-made videos on the main YouTube site. The service was initially conceived as a competitor to other subscription-based services such as Netflix, but YouTube has moved away from this purpose. As a result, YouTube has canceled several of its scripted shows.
However, these cancellations do not necessarily mean the end of the series. The rights for some shows were sold to various networks. Most notably, Starz Network bought the rights to Step Up: High Water, another YouTube Premium followup to a film franchise, last month. Cobra Kai was in a similar position to the Step Up series. Even though production had completed on the third season, YouTube decided to release the rights to Cobra Kai back to its production company Sony Pictures Television. Sony had to find a new distributor to host the series and Netflix has filled that void.
Cobra Kai premiered on May 2nd, 2018, and quickly became the biggest hit of YouTube’s original series. The show follows Johnny Lawrence (played by William Zabka, Hot Tub Time Machine), the main antagonist of the first Karate Kid film, as he opens a karate dojo to teach children in an attempt to turn his life around. Daniel Larusso (played by Ralph Macchio, The Outsiders), the protagonist from the original, does not believe this supposed change of heart, and opens his own dojo. The rivalry between the two resurfaces as their respective students also come into conflict.
Netflix has confirmed the first two seasons will be on the service by the end of the year. The air date for the third season is currently unknown. As of now, Cobra Kai is available to stream on YouTube Premium.