Nick Greenlights New Series From Avatar: The Last Airbender Creators

Nickelodeon, the number one producer of television animation in the world, has greenlit a new series from the creators of the hit animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.

Press Release from Nickelodeon

BURBANK, Calif. – July 21, 2010 – Nickelodeon, the number one producer of television animation in the world, has greenlit a new series from the creators of the hit animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.  The new series The Legend of Korra (working title), from creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011, continuing the evolution of the animated franchise and its mythology.  The original series was the inspiration for the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies live-action epic adventure, The Last Airbender, which has already grossed more than $115 million at the box office to date.

“Mike and Bryan have imagined a compelling new story inspired by the Airbender mythology that they so brilliantly crafted when the TV series began,” Johnson said.  “This new avatar is not only a girl, but also hot-headed, independent and ready to take on the world.”

The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the adventures of the Avatar after Aang – a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenaged girl from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra.  With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air.  Her quest leads her to the epicenter of the modern “Avatar” world, Republic City – a metropolis that is fueled by steampunk technology.  It is a virtual melting pot where benders and non-benders from all nations live and thrive.  However, Korra discovers that Republic City is plagued by crime as well as a growing anti-bending revolution that threatens to rip it apart.   Under the tutelage of Aang’s son, Tenzin, Korra begins her airbending training while dealing with the dangers at large.

Launched in February 2005, Avatar aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon and was ranked among the top five animated properties on television among boys, 2-11 and 6-11 (2005/2006).  During this time, the series reached a total of 21.7 million total viewers (persons 2+), including 8.8 million kids 2-11 and 6.3 million kids 6-11*.  Currently, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the number one program on Nicktoons among tweens.  (Source: *Nielsen Cume Data - July 2008, Live + 7 day, 6 min. qualifier.)

Avatar: The Last Airbender was created and executive produced by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

An award-winning filmmaker, DiMartino was a director at Film Roman for six years, working on the prime-time animated series King of the Hill, Family Guy and Mission Hill.  During his tenure there, DiMartino animated and directed the short animated film Atomic Love, which has gone on to screen at festivals across the country including Sundance and the Los Angeles Film Festival.  It also aired as part of the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival.

Konietzko began his career in animation as a character designer at Film Roman for Fox’s prime-time series, Family Guy.  He soon moved to the post of assistant director for two more Film Roman shows, Mission Hill and King of the Hill, working beside animation director DiMartino.  Konietzko then became a storyboard artist and later an art director for the Nickelodeon animated series Invader Zim.

The new Avatar series will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., and is co-executive produced by Joaquim Dos Santos.

Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.  Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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