After several weeks of waiting animation fans around the country were thrilled by the exotic visuals and concrete storyline delivered by Nickelodeon last weekend with the premiere of succeeding episodes of the second season of the hit original series Avatar: the Last Airbender. The second season, entitled Book Two: Earth, has followed four intrepid teenagers and their journey across the globe to build strong relationships that may ultimately help them defeat nearby, warring nations. The series is credited by many over the past year and a half as an original television series that isn't afraid to let its characters grit their teeth and bare the burdens of responsibility, honor and love--or the lack thereof.
Avatar: the Last Airbender's recent television event, "Secret of the Fire Nation," premiered in theaters on September 9th 2006 in select cities to offer fans a taste of the action, only to later debut on television sets throughout the country the following Friday evening on Nickelodeon. A general synopsis of the two-episode debut would simply read that the four teen heroes: brother and sister duo Sokka and Katara, the young but fierce Toph, and Aang, the Avatar incarnate; are just about to reach the capital of the Earth Kingdom: Ba Sing Se. The only problems? Outside of coincidentally arriving at the city at the same time as one exiled Prince and his beloved uncle and outside of running into and nearly being run over by a newly invented military device of the cold-hearted Fire Nation… nothing much. Now with a successful return to television after a short hiatus, Avatar: The Last Airbender will not only continue to debut new episodes on Nickelodeon friday evenings, but the cable channel also plans to "strip" the series on weekdays as well, beginning the final week of September (meaning that Nickelodeon will have a particular part of the afternoon or evening programming for an episode of Avatar.
According to national ratings recorded by Nielson Media Research, distributed by USA Today; Avatar: the Last Airbender outperformed a majority of the top fifteen programs rated as the best performing cable television airings during the week in question (September 11th through September 17th). According to USA Today, Avatar: the Last Airbender ranked fifth overall, garnering an impressive 4.1 million viewership. (It should be noted to readers that although USA Today does not specify which airing of Avatar: the Last Airbender these numbers represent, it is a common practice to record only episode premieres/first-airings on such ratings lists, and not reruns.)
Launched in February 2005, Avatar: the Last Airbender, now in its second season, ranks among the top 10 animated properties on commercial television among the Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11 demographics. Nielson Media observed in the second quarter months (March through July ), the series reaches an average of 7.6 million total viewers (persons 2+), including 4.2 million Kids 2-11 and 3.1 million Kids 6-11 viewing demos. According to a previously issued press release, Avatar is the number one Nick program for the network on Friday nights with Teens 9-14 and Kids 6-11 as well as Boys 9-14 and Girls 9-14.
About Nickelodeon Television: Nickelodeon, now in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the U.S. 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 89 million households and has been the number- one-rated basic cable network for nine consecutive years. Viacom Int'l Inc owns Nickelodeon.
Also; catch up on all of the Avatar: the Last Airbender program news at the following Animation Insider News and/or Reviews links and Forum Discussions: "Secret/Fire Nation Forum Topic" (09/15/06), "General "avatar" Forum Topic" (09/15/06), "Nickelodeon October Highlights" (09/14/06), "'Avatar: The Last Airbender' DVD Set Coming Soon" (09/09/06), "Secret/Fire Nation Advanced Review" (08/18/06), "Nickelodeon September Highlights" (08/17/06), "AVATAR: Season III News" (06/30/06).