Back in 2005, children’s entertainment network Nickelodeon premiered an animated series that would change the way networks perceive their viewers. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was a three-season ratings juggernaut that was universally appealing to multiple age demographics. The success was so major that it led to comic-book sequels, a live-action film adaptation, and even a sequel series that further expanded the world that “Avatar” is set in. But after said sequel finished its run, barring some graphic novel releases and “The Last Airbender” coming to Netflix the Avatar universe had been quiet. And then everything changed when Nickelodeon created a new studio for more “Avatar.”
Entertainment Weekly has it that Nickelodeon, or rather its parent company ViacomCBS, just took a major step in blowing up their prize animated franchise “Avatar” into something bigger than ever before. This past Wednesday, February 24, the media company launched Avatar Studios, a division under Nickelodeon that will specialize in developing and producing new animated series or films all set in the “Avatar” universe. The original creators of “The Last Airbender,” Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, are on board as the joint chief creative officers of the studio, reporting to Ramsey Naito of Nickelodeon Animation.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’” DiMartino and Konietzko said in a statement. “But even after all that time, there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world that we are eager to bring to life.” The two expressed their excitement at having a dedicated studio towards expanding their franchise, with their first project being an animated film that ideally would begin production this year. Any content created by Avatar Studios will either see cinematic release, air on Nickelodeon or be added to digital streaming on Paramount+ or Netflix.
ViacomCBS Kids & Family division president Brian Robbins also has high regards for the award-winning animated series and the rest of its franchise. “Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon,” he says, adding that they are happy to have the creators of the epic to steer the universe to more future productions.
Image courtesy of Screen Rant