3:39pm PT by Rick Porter, Natalie Jarvey
'Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes,' 'Champaign ILL' Among 4 Series Canceled as YouTube Shifts Scripted Strategy
YouTube is deleting some of its scripted originals.
The video streaming platform has canceled four shows — Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, Champaign ILL, Sideswiped and Do You Want to See a Dead Body — as it shifts its strategy regarding original, commissioned programming.
Scripted series were formerly behind a paywall as part of the YouTube Premium subscription service, but the company is moving to a dual distribution model whereby originals will be available on the free, ad-supported YouTube as well as the ad-free Premium tier (which also includes YouTube Music).
"Our goal is to create amazing programming focused on music, education, YouTube creators and some lighthouse shows" a la the breakout Cobra Kai, said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content at YouTube. "We just had our most successful year to date and will soon announce a slate of new and returning hits."
YouTube isn't getting out of the scripted business entirely: Season two of Cobra Kai is set to premiere April 24, and it continues to air Step Up: High Water, Liza on Demand starring YouTuber Liza Koshy and the sci-fi series Impulse, which is in production on its second season.
In addition, the streamer — which reaches nearly 2 billion logged in users each month — plans to invest in interactive programming for the platform under the leadership of longtime executive Ben Relles, who previously headed unscripted for the originals team.
A new slate of projects designed for YouTube's new programming strategy is expected to be unveiled at its annual Brandcast advertiser event on May 2.
Variety first reported the cancellations.