It looks like Aang may not have been the last Airbender after all. Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, creators of hit TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, signed a deal with Nickelodeon to premiere a new series. The new show, tentatively titled The Legend Of Korra will take place in the same world as Avatar: The Last Airbender, and serve as a sequel to the series, following the adventures of the next Avatar, Korra. The series, which retains The Last Airbender producer Joaquim Dos Santos, will premiere in on Nickelodeon in 2011.
Here’s Nickelodeon’s official press release, which I’ll leave with you because I have to go sit down and breathe into a paper bag for a moment. I’ve bolded the plot summary and other important bits.
"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."