Nickelodeon Greenlights New Airbender Series

Fans who were disappointed at M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender have a good reason to celebrate at Comic-Con this year as Nickelodeon just announced it’s producing and airing a new show by creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The new toon’s working title is The Legend of Korra) and it will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011, continuing the evolution of the animated franchise and its mythology.

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).

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. 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.