YouTube Renews Cobra Kai, Pacts with Justin Bieber


YouTube has revealed a new slate of original series and specials, including a “top secret” project with Justin Bieber, all of which will be available to watch for free with ads.

On the heels of a record-setting premiere of season two, YouTube has ordered a third season of Cobra Kai, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. The Karate Kid storyline picks up decades after the original film.

There’s also a third season set for Kevin Hart: What the Fit, an unscripted comedy in which Hart merges ridiculous workouts with special guest celebrity appearances.

As previously announced, the scripted series Impulse and Liza on Demand are currently in production and will return next year for second seasons.

In the way of new music specials, Bieber is partnering with YouTube for a top-secret project premiering next year. Maluma: Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Sere is a 90-minute feature doc that follows the Latin music star by tracing his humble origins in Colombia and evolution to selling out stadiums worldwide. Following a record-setting Coachella livestream, YouTube is expanding its 2019 live music festival lineup to include coverage of Lollapalooza this summer.

The platform is working on a new interactive series for the fall, A Heist With Markiplier. Mark Fischbach of the YouTube channel /MarkiplierGame will debut YouTube Original’s first interactive special, where viewers can control their favorite YouTube Gamer’s life-or-death decisions in a genre-bending museum heist.

There are new “docufollow” specials coming to YouTube as well. These include Claire, which features Claire Wineland, a YouTube creator who last year lost her long battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 21. Sports legends Dude Perfect are giving their 41 million fans unprecedented access into their world of breaking world records, stunts and one-upping each other in live competitions. An untitled Paris Hilton documentary, set for 2020, will uncover the as-yet-unheard story of Hilton and her famous family, telling the real story behind all of the headlines as she speaks publicly for the first time about the heartbreaking moments in her life that forged who she is today.

On the heels of the critically acclaimed BookTube special with Michelle Obama that drew 1.5 million views, BookTube will now return as a series. Each episode will feature prominent authors and notable personalities discussing their best-selling books with top BookTubers and YouTubers.

Also coming to the platform, Could You Survive the Movies is a series dedicated to exploring the magic and science of cinema. Meanwhile, Retro Tech, featuring YouTube creator Marques Brownlee, will premiere in December. Show Me the Evidence (working title) is a host-driven, large-scale exploration of these human curiosities. The School of Life (working title) sees the successful YouTube philosophy channel The School of Life collaborate with a group of the world’s most interesting and diverse YouTube creators to explore some of the greatest philosophical questions of our age.

“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,” said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl. “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.”