YouTube today announced that all of its forthcoming original series and specials will soon be available for fans around the world to watch for free with ads. In addition, YouTube unveiled a new and returning slate of original series and specials focused on music, learning and personalities that will all be free with ads, including seasons 1 and 2 of Cobra Kai beginning this fall. The YouTube original series announcements were made at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event by Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl.
“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 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.”
The YouTube Original Series Returning Include:
Cobra Kai (Season 3, Premiering Next Year)
On the heels of a record-setting premiere of season two, YouTube has ordered a third season of the critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite series, “Cobra Kai” starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. The scripted series is written and executive produced by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine), and Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold & Kumar, Blockers). Together, the trio conceived the new Karate Kid storyline that picks up decades after the original film. Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg will continue to showrun the series and direct the bulk of the episodes. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television Studios. Susan Ekins, Macchio and Zabka are also Executive Producers.
Kevin Hart: What The Fit (Season 3, Premiering Next Year)
In the unscripted comedy “Kevin Hart: What The Fit,” Hart merges ridiculous workouts with hilarious special guest celebrity appearances. Past episodes have featured sumo wrestling with Conan O’Brien, a farm workout with Jennifer Garner and karate with Rebel Wilson. The first two seasons of What the Fit have driven over 275 million total views across all the episodes and related content to date. The series runs on Kevin’s LOL Network on YouTube. Executive Produced by Hart, Matt Kunitz, David Shumsky, Rebecca Shumsky Quinn, Pip Wells, Mark Harris and Jeff Clanagan in association with Lionsgate.
As previously announced, scripted hits Impulse and Liza on Demand are currently in production and will return next year.
Impulse (Season 2, Premiering Fall 2019)
Following more than 31 million views of the pilot, “Impulse” will return with new episodes this year. Maddie Hasson stars as Henrietta “Henry” Cole, a rebellious 16-year-old girl who has always felt different from her peers and longs to escape from her seemingly quaint small town. During a traumatic event, Henry discovers she has the extraordinary ability to teleport, and her newfound power confirms Henry’s conviction that she really was different from everybody else – but it now makes her the focus of those who want to control her. The series is produced by UCP (Universal Content Productions), Hypnotic, and showrunner Lauren LeFranc. Sneak peek teaser here.
Liza on Demand (Season 2, Premiering Fall 2019)
Following more than 22 million views of the pilot, “Liza On Demand” will return with new episodes later this year. The ten-episode, half-hour series follows the chaotic misadventures of Liza (Liza Koshy) and her roommates Oliver (Travis Coles) and Harlow (Kimiko Glenn) as Liza takes on various tasks and odd jobs while trying to get ahead in the gig economy. Featuring a young diverse cast, season one took satirical stabs at topics like gender bias and romantic tropes. Season two promises even more laughs and misadventures as Liza takes on a brand new set of challenges. The series is produced by Above Average, a digital-first entertainment company founded in 2012 by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Liza Koshy, Deborah Kaplan (Can’t Hardly Wait) and Harry Elfont (Can’t Hardly Wait, Josie & The Pussycats and Mary + Jane) and Courtney Carter will serve as executive producers on the series, with Sam Childs serving as producer.
YouTube New Music Specials:
Untitled Top Secret Justin Bieber Project (Premiering Next Year)
Justin Bieber is partnering with YouTube for a top-secret project premiering next year. YouTube is where Justin got his start, rose to fame and continues to serve a legion of fans all over the world.
MALUMA: Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Sere (Premiering June 5)
Directed by Jessy Terrero, this 90-minute feature documentary follows Maluma, global Latin music star, by tracing his humble origins in Colombia and evolution to selling out stadiums worldwide. Featuring exclusive, revealing, interviews with family, friends and Maluma himself. First- look teaser here!
Expanded Lollapalooza Coverage
Following a record-setting Coachella livestream, YouTube is expanding its 2019 live music festival lineup to include coverage of Lollapalooza this summer. In addition to the curated live stream over the four-day festival, for the first time ever, fans will get additional custom content giving unique access to the festivals’ artists.
New Interactive Series:
A Heist with Markiplier (Premiering Fall 2019)
Mark Fischbach of 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. A follow-up to Mark’s multimillion view interactive “A Date With Markiplier,” “A Heist With Markiplier” will begin production in late spring, in partnership with Austin-based production company Rooster Teeth.
New DocuFollow Series:
Claire (Premiering Fall 2019)
From Academy Award winning filmmaker Nick Reed, the documentary “Claire” features Claire Wineland, a YouTube creator who last year lost her long battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 21. Claire had spent thousands of hours in hospital rooms pondering the meaning of life and believed our pain “is because most of us don’t know why we are here.” Claire explains in her own words, what all those voices in our own heads are really saying and how with a few simple, but hard truths we can all create a beautiful life. Throughout her inspiring life, she became an advocate and activist for those living with terminal illness.
Dude Perfect (Premiering 2019)
For the first time, 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 hilarious live competitions. This documentary will step into the world of Coby, Cory, Garrett, Cody, and Tyler as they embark on their first national tour, bringing fans up close and personal, experiencing wild competitions, crazy fun and learning the stories behind the unique camaraderie the Dudes share on and off camera.
Untitled Paris Hilton Documentary (Premiering 2020)
This film will uncover the unfiltered side of the international icon and the as-yet-unheard story of Paris and her famous family, telling the real story behind all of the headlines as Paris speaks publicly for the first time about the heartbreaking moments in her life that forged who she is today. With unvarnished candor, Paris will open up about trying to make peace with her past while contending with the excitement and challenges of her current global endeavors. This deeply compelling portrait will reveal the woman behind the icon and shed new light on our view of fame, the power of social media, and our celebrity-obsessed culture. The film will be directed by Alexandra Dean and produced by Hilton along with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman via Industrial Media’s Intellectual Property Corporation banner.
New Learning Series:
BookTube (Premiering Summer 2019)
On the heels of the critically acclaimed, “BookTube” special with Michelle Obama that drew an impressive 1.5 million views, “BookTube” will return as a series. Each episode will feature prominent authors and notable personalities discussing their best-selling books with top BookTubers and YouTubers. And like any great book club, BookTube will meet once a month.
Could You Survive the Movies (Premiering October 2019)
“Could You Survive The Movies” is a series dedicated to exploring the magic and science of cinema. In each episode, YouTube creator and host Jake Roper takes you on an immersive journey into the world of a different movie; blending unscripted scientific exploration with narrative storytelling. From the jungles of “Jumanji,” to the vastness of space in “Alien”, you are transported to an exciting cinematic experience filled with mind-blowing experiments like what would happen to your body if you actually jumped in a DeLoreon and went back in time a la “Back to the Future”? Find out in season one of “Could You Survive The Movies!” The series is produced by AMPLE Entertainment. Executive Producers include Ari Mark, Phil Lott, Jake Roper, David Brown and Alex Weresow.
Retro Tech (Premiering December 2019)
As previously announced, Retro Tech featuring YouTube creator Marques Brownlee will premiere in December. From Vox Media Studios and YouTube, the 6-episode unscripted series will follow Brownlee as he unboxes, reviews, and reveals the greatest vintage tech-driven products that defined pop culture and changed the world as we know it. In each episode, Marques will examine a different nostalgic product – many of which he has never used – exploring the history, impact on society, and creators who made the product come to life. The series will guest star YouTube creators, celebrities, educators and inventors who will be announced at a later date. Executive Producers include Chad Mumm, Marty Moe, Nick Budabin.
Show Me The Evidence (Working Title) (Premiering Fall 2019)
Fan go to YouTube to search for everything from technology to Fortnite, Vox’s forthcoming YouTube Original is a host-driven, large-scale exploration of these human curiosities. In each episode, Vox’s top journalists go on a quest to find the best evidence available to answer the audience’s most searched and most interesting questions. As we leave the newsroom, our journalists will get inside the minds of several authoritative voices, taking our audience through an experiential journey to get to the bottom of how our mysterious world works. Produced by Vox Media Studios and YouTube, Executive Producers include Chad Mumm, Joe Posner, and Lindsay Perna.
The School of Life (Working Title) (Premiering Fall 2019)
This series sees the hugely 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. In a series of stand alone films that includes titles like ‘Should I Marry Someone I Don’t Love?’, ‘Are Machines about to Become Human?’ and ‘Is Democracy Dangerous?’, the creators tackle the subjects in a relatable and impactful manner, encouraging their audiences to see each topic in a whole new light. Creators featured in season one include The Martinez Twins, Hannah Stocking, Luzu, Lady Leshur and Adam Saleh.
Free Ad-Supported Premiere Dates:
Cobra Kai (Seasons 1 and 2)
On September 11th, YouTube will make the second season of “Cobra Kai” available to all users globally for free, in an ad supported environment. Fans will be able to tune-in weekly for a new episode of the hit show. And for two weeks – from August 29th to September 11th – fans can also catch up on all of Cobra Kai Season 1 for free.