While the spirits-centric second season of NIckelodeon’s Legend of Korra was definitely no slouch, I have to admit that the current third season just feels to be an improvement in every way with better new characters, action and story beats. I’m not alone in this assessment either, which is why it came as quite a shock when Nickelodeon suddenly announced at the start of Comic-Con last week that other than a single episode airing this Friday past (as opposed to the usual double-episodes), they would no longer be broadcasting the show, with the remainder of the season’s episodes only being available via digital streaming.
This put lot of fans into a bit of a worried state, but during the show’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday morning, co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino (via io9)put their audience at ease as they explained that while surprising, this was actually not a bad thing that happened.
“So obviously there’s been a big shakeup. We wanted to address that quickly but we don’t want to take too much time because we’re here to have fun and we have stuff you guys haven’t seen yet. But pulling it off the channel and moving it to digital exclusively is part of the huge sea change in the whole industry. I’m sure you’ve seen articles about cable numbers and streaming and companies doing their own content and all sorts of stuff. So obviously we’re in the middle of a huge change. And things have changed just for us since we did in Avatar in 2005-2008 and then when we came back in 2012. And when Book 1 of Korra came out it did pretty good on TV but its online presence was just insane. Not only the chatter from all the fans but the actual numbers in terms of digital downloads and streaming, it’s just been huge. And as the show’s gone along, by Book 2, the numbers in the digital streaming greatly outweighed the channel .”
“It’s no secret that Avatar, especially Korra, is not typical Nickelodeon fare. And so they’ve had kind of a hard time fitting it into their programming. But basically the Book 2 finale, the numbers were insane when they streamed it, when it went on Nick.com. It was the biggest event they had that year. And that show, digital downloads for that season was amazing. And, as you’ve seen, not so much on the channel. So it’s just part of this shift over.
It definitely caught us by surprise and it wasn’t necessarily done in the smoothest way and that was upsetting to many of you and us as well.
So, we’re moving over to digital. It’s actually a plan that was in place earlier and it changed course and then went back in a bit of a messy way. But thanks for sticking with us.”
If Nickelodeon did make the announcement without really informing Konietzko and DiMartino first – as their statement seems to imply – that really would have been a bit of dick move on the network’s part. Not that their dickishness will affect the show in any way, as the creators went on to reassure their fanbase.
“It won’t effect what the show is or what stories we’re telling. We’ve already written the scripts, we’ve finished all the pre-production, we’re just doing post and Studio Mir is finishing the animation. Other than it not being on the Nickelodeon main channel nothing is changing. You get to see it, which is the important thing.”
This change actually doesn’t affect us local fans at all, as the only we were able to view the show (legally) anyway, was to stream it digitally. As from August 1, that will still be the case with Season 3’s five remaining episodes to be found on Nick.com, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play and Xbox.
Last Updated: July 28, 2014