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Yesterday, fans of the animated series Legend of Korra were hit with some surprising and rather shocking news when it was announced that Nickelodeon is planning to stop airing new episodes on television. While many took this announcement as suggestion that the show was cancelled, that wasn’t the truth; instead, the rest of Book 3 will instead be making its debut online. This report was met with some outrage from the die-hards, but now co-creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have gone on the record to explain what exactly is going on.
It was right at the start of the Legend of Korra panel at San Diego Comic-Con earlier today, held in Ballroom 20, that DiMartino and Konietzko chose to try and calm down irate fans afraid that their beloved show was going away. Going into detail about the situation, DiMartino said that this move is actually just one part of a much larger “sea-change” currently going on in the television industry. Slowly but surely, the model of network and cable channels is fading away as more and more people are choosing to watch shows online. While this is the case with many series nowadays, it’s especially true for the Last Airbender spinoff.
According to DiMartino, while Legend of Korra did put up solid numbers while airing on Nickelodeon, the stats for digital downloads and streaming have been “insane.” In fact, when the last finale of the show went online it wound up being the biggest hit on Nick.com all year. Paired with the fact that the series didn’t really fit in with the rest of the network’s programming on the air, the decision was made to move the remaining Book 3 episodes online.
The co-creator/executive producer’s tone suggested that what’s being done for Legend of Korra really is for the best, but he also recognized that the way the announcement was handled wasn’t great. “It caught us by surprise and wasn’t done in the smoothest way and was upsetting,” DiMartino said before adding, “It happened in a bit of a messy way.”
Konietzko then chimed in to break down the schedule going forward for the rest of the season. Next Friday, August 1st, will see the first digital-only release of the new Legend of Korra episode and that the show would continue airing online weekly until August 22nd. That day will see the airing of the first part of the multi-part Book 3 finale.
Hopefully this news will help calm the fans down, as it looks like absolutely nothing has changed about the show other than where new episodes will be showing up. That said, are you going to miss watching Legend of Korra on television? Do you mind that it will now be an online-only show? Let us know what you think in the comments below.