After tremendous anticipation, the Karate Kid TV show Cobra Kai finally premiered on YouTube Red on May 2. So how did the new series perform in the ratings? Well, there is no other way to say it: Cobra Kai kicked ass! And not by a thin margin either. It was a total crane kick to the chest. YouTube Red's new series debuted to numbers that should make rival streaming services take notice.
YouTube is reporting that 5.4 million people watched the first episode of Cobra Kai over the course of its first day live. The numbers YouTube executive Susanne Daniels reported to Decider are beyond impressive. While YouTube Red requires a paid monthly subscription, the first two episodes of the series were made available for free, which could play into the numbers. Albeit, that factor does nothing to diminish YouTube Red's accomplishment. Without the stellar promotion of its quality project, there would be no interest to begin with.
Making Cobra Kai's ratings success all the more impressive is how it fared in comparison to Netflix's reboot of the sci-fi series Lost in Space. According to Nielsen, the Netflix series was watched by 3.2 million viewers during its first day, which is significantly lower than what Cobra Kai achieved. Did we tell you Cobra Kai's ratings were a crane kick smackdown, or what?
Setting Cobra Kai apart from all of the other nostalgic television revivals and reboots is that Cobra Kai is a TV continuation of a film franchise. And it was able to get the original cast members back for the show. That is a testament to Karate Kid's enduring legacy as a pop culture touchstone to the 1980s and the cast's willingness to embrace its place there. The development of _Cobra Kai was a three-person effort. It comes from Harold & Kumar creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg and Hot Tub Time Machine writer Josh Heald.
It has been 34 years since the release of the original Karate Kid and fans are clearly curious to see where the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) took each of them. Now, they finally have their answer. The 10-episode season picks up in real-time as Johnny is still living in the shadow of his defeat to Daniel. The rivals' lives have taken them in entirely different directions, and Johnny is seeking a path to personal redemption.
You can stream Cobra Kai on YouTube Red, the paid streaming service from YouTube. To find out what other new or returning shows are set to arrive over the next few months, check out our summer premiere schedule. If you are curious about what other streaming services have to offer, check out our guides to Netflix and Amazon Prime's 2018 release schedules.