Even science-fiction's greatest minds couldn't have predicted how ingrained streaming services would become in our day-to-day lives, and now it seems as though each one has its own science-fiction anthology series. Netflix has Black Mirror, Amazon has Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, CBS All Access has its upcoming Twilight Zone reboot, and now, YouTube Premium has Weird City. The show is only on its first season, but Season 2 of Weird City could be just around the corner if the show becomes a success for the platform, which is likely considering that Weird City has something other YouTube shows have thus far lacked: serious star power.
YouTube Premium has been around for a few years, and part of the streaming service's appeal is that it often sidesteps well-known names in order to give chances to less widely recognized creatives who cut their teeth making YouTube videos. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule — Veronica Mars' Ryan Hansen leads Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television, while Karate Kid alums Ralph Macchio and William Zabka star on Cobra Kai — but by and large, YouTube has been a space for new, emerging talent
Weird City, however, is executive-produced by Get Out director Jordan Peele and its cast features major actors including Awkwafina, Dylan O'Brien, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Laverne Cox, Ed O'Neill, and many others. If Weird City is a success, it could pave the way for other big-name celebs to work with the streaming platform and expand YouTube Premium's niche beyond giving large budgets to popular YouTubers.
Part of the reason that the producers behind the YouTube Original are able to bring in such recognizable talent is that Weird City is not going to be a long-term gig for any of them. The show's anthology format means that top-billed actors only need to be involved for as little as one episode and don't have to keep themselves committed to a full series.
However, star power alone may not not be able to convince YouTube to continue to find value in scripted content. According to a report from Deadline, the service is putting a hold on production of any new scripted series for YouTube Premium, despite the fact that the first episode of their biggest hit so far, Cobra Kai, has over 50 million views. That may not sound like a lot for a platform on which a video titled "HUGE EGGS Surprise Toys Challenge with Inflatable water slide" had 1.7 billion. But it might be more useful to compare those viewing figures to the Season 7 finale of Game Of Thrones, the show's most watched episode, which according to The Verge, had 12.1 million viewers when it first aired on HBO. YouTube Premium shows are clearly pulling in viewers in large quantities, but whether or not Weird City will attract enough fans to justify production of a Season 2 remains to be seen — especially at a time when Youtube is reportedly scaling down on its scripted projects.