Cobra Kai is a Netflix show, so each season’s episodes are released all at once to encourage binge-watching, which the platform has become notorious for. Unfortunately for Cobra Kai fans, that means that there is only one batch of episodes this year.
Additionally, Cobra Kai’s seasons are short, coming in at only 10 episodes. Because Cobra Kai started out as one of the first streaming series on YouTube Red, the first season was experimental to see if the platform could even work. Now the show has moved to Netflix but has stuck to the same 10-episodes-per-season model.
There are a few other reasons that Cobra Kai has such a limited number of episodes.
Broadcast Networks No Longer Dominate Television
For years, broadcast networks controlled every aspect of television, including the number of episodes that would be produced per season of a show. According to Vulture, the standard number of episodes per season used to be 22. “Programmers needed as many episodes as possible to ensure they had enough content to fill the nine-month season that ran between September and May,” Vulture wrote.
Since then, the television industry has changed, particularly with the rise of cable networks like HBO. HBO programs like The Sopranos began airing with 13-episode seasons. The shortened run allowed for easier scheduling and less production. Charlie Collier, former president at AMC, told Vulture that cable networks “would look for the window, no matter the length, where we thought our storytelling could stand out.”
The number of episodes per season has continued to shrink over the years, with networks experimenting with 10-episode and even eight-episode seasons. Shorter runs have also allowed for smaller commitments from talent, which enables shows to attract bigger stars, like Matthew McConaughey’s eight-episode run on HBO’s True Detective.
There Will Be More ‘Cobra Kai’ in the Near Future
Fortunately for Cobra Kai fans, Netflix has given the show a home for the immediate future. Following the second season, YouTube announced that it would begin phasing out the YouTube Red platform and focus more on individual creators. That meant Cobra Kai was available for a new streaming service to take on.
According to DigitalSpy, “The script for season four has been in the works for months, and Cobra Kai writer Jon Hurwitz said they were hoping to start shooting very soon.” Hurwitz said they hope to get back to filming in early 2021, as long as COVID-19 protocols allow them to. Hurwitz said season 4 will likely release a year after season 3, meaning we can expect it to come out sometime in 2022.
Even though each season of Cobra Kai has come out in batches of 10 episodes, it sounds like the creators have plenty more story to tell. According to Digital Spy, “Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio, who plays Daniel-san, had already said that they have planned out Cobra Kai up to series six.”
Six seasons of Cobra Kai could see the plot go in a variety of directions that nobody is anticipating and will be fun to watch.
Fans Express Their Frustration
Regardless of what the future holds for Cobra Kai, fans are currently seeking more. Many have taken to social media to express their desire for more episodes.
I ran thru them Cobra Kai episodes too damn quick, I need more pic.twitter.com/yECpVkw7Bg
— CADILLAC DREAMZ (@FLY_LIBRA18) January 3, 2021
Fans have also been leaving comments on the official Cobra Kai Facebook Page about how there are not nearly enough episodes. Most of the frustration, however, comes from a good problem: The show is just too much fun to stay away from, and they need more now.