YouTube Premium’s “Cobra Kai” is back in preproduction for Season 2, and the writers are back to work, YouTube Originals global head Susanne Daniels told reporters Friday. Casting is also underway for new roles, but Daniels was mum beyond that.
“I’d like to bring it back as soon as possible,” Daniels said at YouTube’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour. “‘Cobra Kai’ exceeded all of our expectations. Fans have watched more than 1 billion hours of ‘Karate Kid’ content on YouTube, and it has been incredible to witness the overwhelming appetite that viewers have to see this rivalry reignited.”
According to Daniels, the first episode of “Cobra Kai” has now received over 40 million views. “We’ve seen incredibly strong engagement across the entire season. In May when we launched the series, the season finale of ‘Cobra Kai’ was the No. 1 video by premium member watch time across all of YouTube.”
Executive producers Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg are behind the show, which stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. “Before we released Season 1, fans asked about Season 2, just based on the trailer,” Daniels said. “And within the week of the launch we granted their wish.”
Season 2 will pick up after the events of Season 1, and — spoiler alert — “Karate Kid’s” Martin Kove, who played Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese in the original film, will indeed play a large role in the new season.
“Cobra Kai” was followed by “Impulse,” which has also been renewed for a second season. Per Daniels, there have been 7 million views of that show’s first episode.
Daniels touted YouTube Originals’ “banner year,” although she did admit that the name “YouTube Red” was ultimately a misstep. The service rebranded as “YouTube Premium” earlier this summer.
“I think we valiantly tried,” Daniels said of the YouTube Red name. “At a certain point we realized that YouTube Red wasn’t sending the message of what our offerings are, and didn’t speak what the service was to viewers. And after a while, spending good money after bad in marketing and getting the research back that it wasn’t really resonating with viewers, we decided to rebrand. And YouTube Premium seems to be working so far for us.”