Nick’s Avatar Hits Ratings High

Nickelodeon announced that its original animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, nabbed its highest ratings ever with its third season finale. The two-hour programming event titled Avatar: Sozin’s Comet aired in primetime on Saturday, July 19 and was the week’s top draw with kids and tweens on broadcast and basic cable television. The movie wrapped up a week of new, half-hour Avatar episodes, including a special, hour-long installment titled Avatar: Boiling Rock.

Avatar: Sozin’s Comet averaged 5.6 million total viewers, giving Nickelodeon a 195% increase in viewership over the same period last year. Wednesday’s premiere of Boiling Rock grabbed 4 million total viewers, and all of the week’s new Avatar episodes reached about 19.0 million viewers combined.

The property has also been popular online. Rise of the Phoenix King, the new Avatar online game of the week on www.nick.com generated almost 815,000 game plays and, in just three days, became the No. 2 online game for the week. In addition, Avatar had the most-visited message board of the week on Nick.com.

Avatar is being made into a live-action feature film by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan (The Happening, Signs, The Sixth Sense). The movie will be released by Paramount pictures in 2010 under the abbreviated titled The Last Airbender, to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s unrelated 3-D sci-fi thriller, Avatar. Series creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are serving as exec producers on the big-screen version of their popular toon.