Since its debut over a year ago, Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender has been what many animation fans hail a pleasantly innovative program at a time when television programming is, at times, underwhelming. With its first season past and already out on DVD, in part; Avatar: The Last Airbender is steamrolling its competition as its second season has taken what drama, character dynamics and well plotted action from the series' previous twenty-adventures, and multiplied it. Created and executive produced by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko [past AI news: "Interview with 'AVATAR' Program Creators"], Avatar: The Last Airbender, now greenlit for a third and final season, kicks into an even higher gear.
Initially planned to be a three-season animated television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender has acquired the ratings success and executive approval necessary to grant such a dream to become a reality. Greenlit for a complete, twenty-episode season three, this animated television series will then total 60, upon the third season's completion. Following deeper into the conscience of a preteen boy and his destiny to save the world, the series thus far has traversed many an interesting circumstance, and has revisited may an remarkable flashback.
"[Avatar: The Last Airbender] continues to be one of our top shows with kid and tween audiences who keep tuning in for the layered storylines and incredible, animated martial arts," Marjorie Cohn, evp, development and original programming, Nickelodeon commented. "In season three, Aang will confront his biggest enemy yet along with Katara and Sokka, and meet his destiny by facing the evil Fire Lord at last."
Of course, facing Fire Lord Ozai, although his destiny is one of the least of Aang (the Avatar's) problems. Struggling with his feelings and emotions towards a comrade just as much as he is struggling to survive sudden onslaughts of daggers, high kicks and lightning from regional assassins--this twelve-year-old boy has his work cut out for him. Given this, the program has been on a sabbatical from its Season II new episodes for a month now, and plans to return in the middle of July with what looks to be the largest and most influential event of the second season to date. Spanning Episodes #210 and #211, the second half of Season II kicks off with "The Fury of the Avatar." This to which will, according to select sources, be only a taste of what fans will be later treated to in the [unofficial] hour-long (two episode story arc) "Secret of Fire Nation," on September 15th.
"The Fury of the Avatar" debuts at 8:00pm (Eastern Time Zone) on July 14th, 2006--and replays twice; Saturday July 15th at 8:00pm and Sunday July 16th at 4:00pm--A professor leads the kids to a spirit library in the middle of the desert, where Sokka hopes to discover powerful secrets to use against the Fire Nation. Aang searches for Appa, while Katara struggles to keep everyone together so they can survive in the vast desert. Meanwhile, Uncle Iroh and Zuko seek help from an ancient secret society. Of most interesting note however, is that something is taken from Aang that causes the Avatar to become angrier than ever before.
Launched in February 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the #1 animated series on all of TV among the boys 9-14 demographic. The series posted double digit year-to-year gains in May and averaged a 5.2 tween 9-14 rating/1.1 million viewers in its Friday night time period, up +23% in rating and +26% in impressions over last year. Among boys 9-14 the show posted even bigger year-to-year growth, up +25% with a 6.8 boy 9-14 rating.
About AVATAR: The epic story follows the journey of Aang, a 12-year-old boy torn between fulfilling his fate as the long-awaited Avatar and just wanting to be a regular kid. Aang is called upon to lead the fight against the vicious Fire Nation to restore balance in his war-torn world. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara and her bull-headed warrior brother Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to save the world while sometimes shaking off his heavy responsibilities so that he can enjoy being a kid. Avatar: The Last Airbender is produced at the Nicktoons Studios in Burbank, California.
About Nickelodeon: Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the #1 entertainment brand for kids. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the #1-rated basic cable network for more than ten consecutive years.