Netflix Poaches YouTube Original Show ‘Cobra Kai’

(Image credit: Sony Pictures TV)

Karate Kid spinoff series Cobra Kai is moving to Netflix.

Season three of the original series, produced by Sony Pictures Television, will debut exclusively on the No. 1 SVOD service at an as yet determined date. 

Netflix will also have non-exclusive rights to seasons one and two of the action dramedy, which had been the flagship series YouTube’s quest to get into the business of subscription-based original shows. YouTube made Cobra Kai free-to-view and ad-supported last year. And it’s now out of the scripted business altogether. 

Cobra Kai recasts actors Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in their familiar roles made famous in the 1984 motion-picture classic The Karate Kid. The series tracks the martial arts exploits of Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence now that they’ve advanced to middle age. 

The first episode of Cobra Kai has been viewed on YouTube more than 86.4 million times since it debuted on May 2, 2018. 

According to Deadline Hollywood, Netflix and Sony are talking about expanding The Karate Kid franchise into even more series. 

“The appeal of The Karate Kid saga is timeless, and Cobra Kai picks up right where it left off without missing a beat,” said Brian Wright, VP of original series for Netflix, in a statement. “The rivalry between Daniel and Johnny is one for the ages, and the show has a ton of heart and is a lot of fun. We can’t wait to introduce a new generation of fans to Cobra Kai and are thrilled to be its new home around the world.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!