YouTube is continuing to scale back on its original scripted programming continues with word today it is cancelling two of its more well-known shows and had rejected to take two recent pilots to series.
Specifically the dance-themed series “Step Up: High Water” has been dumped after two seasons. One of YouTube’s most popular shows, the official first episode was watched more than 43 million times and the ‘uncensored version’ of it a further 21 million times. The property was a spin-off of Lionsgate’s “Step Up” films and should it be picked up elsewhere it’ll likely be with Starz.
Also out is the comedy series “Wayne” following one season and critically acclaimed reviews. The pilot has been viewed more than 27 million times and producer Endeavor Content has reportedly been in talks with multiple networks about picking it up.
The two pilots rejected include the big-budget neo-noir thriller “Dark Cargo” starring Chris Messina and RJ Cyler. eOne is reportedly holding screenings of the “Dark Cargo” pilot for potential buyers. The other is the comedy “It’s a Man’s World” which won’t be picked up elsewhere.
These cuts follow March’s cancellation of “Origin,” “Overthinking with Kat & June” along with their drama “On Becoming a God In Central Florida” being put into turnaround and ending up at Showtime.
YouTube is effectively getting out of the SVOD (subscription video on demand) game and moving towards an AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) model with its original content focused on music, learning and personalities.
Only three scripted series remain on YouTube – “Cobra Kai,” “Impulse” and “Liza On Demand”. “Cobra Kai” is expected to move to YouTube’s new AVOD platform for its third season, but the renewal chances of the other two beyond their second seasons isn’t clear.