Well it took them about seven years to figure it out, but Nickelodeon seems to have finally realized what they had with the Avatar universe, and are going all-in on it. But that will come at the cost of the show’s current streaming home, Netflix.
Speaking to EW, Nickelodeon President and CEO Brian Robbins confirmed that both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra would be leaving Netflix down the line, with the original Avatar in particular being a massively well-performing series on the streaming service.
“…It’s not like this is some secret that we’re pulling the wool over anybody else’s eyes on other services,” Robbins said. “They’re happy to have the content and they understand the strategy. We’re very upfront about it.”
There’s no public date on when it’s going away, but where it’s headed is clear, Paramount Plus, what CBS All Access turned into, with ViacomCBS being the parent company of Nickelodeon. It’s no surprise they want the series back in its stable as a draw, and that’s no doubt that’s where the continued expansion of the Avatar universe will take place.
Nickelodeon has formed “Avatar Studios” with the original creators of the series and are going hard on expanding the universe with new animated shows and features past Aang and Korra. It’s a far cry from how we left the series, where the show often ran into budget cuts and issues with Nickelodeon back when it was airing, but now they seem to understand it’s potentially one of the most valuable properties they have.
This gets extra confusing when you remember that Netflix is still developing a live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, meant to wipe the taste of M. Night Shyamalan’s much-derided movie version out of everyone’s mouth. But the original creators of the series departed that in order to head back to Nick to work on new animated shows, yet according to Netflix, the live-action project is still moving forward. I would not be surprised if that fell apart at some point in the future, but it hasn’t yet.
The point is, watch Avatar and Korra, or rewatch them, on Netflix while you can, because they will be taken away and moved to Paramount Plus at some point in the not-so-distant future. Paramount Plus continues to struggle to find its identity in the increasingly crowded streaming landscape, but it did recently have a hit with the iCarly reboot, which was better than anyone expected it to be.
More to come as we learn the future of the Avatar universe.
Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.