Exciting things are coming to Nickelodeon: The universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is officially expanding to include new TV shows and movies. In fact, ViacomCBS (which owns Nickelodeon) is getting a dedicated animation studio called Avatar Studios which will offer “original content spanning animated series and movies,” according to the press release from ViacomCBS.
What are the new animated Avatar series?
As of now, the new Avatar series concepts and titles have yet to be announced, although more information is coming soon. According to reports, the first project will start production later this year, so it's likely we'll hear more about it in a matter of a few months. The feature film is set to be released in theaters (no premiere date yet). All media produced by Avatar Studios can be watched on Nickelodeon as well as ViacomCBS's new streaming platform, Paramount+ (which launches March 4).
Avatar die-hards can rest assured that the series will be true to the original work, since creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have been hired by Nickelodeon as co-chief creative officers at Avatar Studios.
An official statement from Brian Robbins, President at ViacomCBS Kids & Family, states:
“Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito [President, Nickelodeon Animation] and I are incredibly excited to have Mike and Bryan’s genius talent on board to helm a studio devoted to expanding their characters and world into new content and formats for fans everywhere. Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”
It's not surprising that ViacomCBS wants something new and exciting that comes with an existing loyal fandom — with the launch of Paramount+ (the streaming platform is currently called CBS All Access), the company hopes to sway viewers away from Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ (or, rather, make them sign up for yet another streaming subscription). The new Avatar shows and movies will be exclusively on Paramount Plus, which gives people more of a reason to sign up for it.
Right now, you can watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Netflix and Amazon Prime (although The Legend of Korra costs extra to watch each episode on Amazon) and it's unclear if they'll continue to stream on those platforms once Paramount+ launches with content created by Avatar Studios. According to The Verge, the Avatar shows are some of the most-watched on Netflix, so licensing them out has been lucrative for ViacomCBS.
Basically, be prepared for a total Avatar takeover, similar to Disney+'s Marvel Universe (which released its first series, WandaVision, a huge success, and will be releasing The Falcon and the Winter Solider March 19 — both of which you can exclusively watch on Disney+). Yes, it means you have to pay for another steaming service — but at least you'll have more Avatar in your life.