By Sahil Patel
The fourth season of “The Legend of Korra,” a continuation of Nickelodeon’s critically acclaimed “Avatar” franchise, will begin on October 3 — except, instead of airing on any of Nick’s TV channels, the entire season will be released on Nick.com and the network’s mobile app. New episodes of the 13-episode season will roll out every Friday.
The announcement was made by the series’ creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino via a video published on Nick.com.
This appears to be a pure business (i.e. ratings-based) decision for Nick. The network’s website became the series’s exclusive home late in season three after a decline in TV viewership. With an original network order of 52 episodes, which season four will complete, this is essentially the same as a broadcast network banishing a show to Friday nights.
That said, “The Legend of Korra” is a Nick show, which means its primary audience are kids, who we are constantly reminded no longer differentiate between TV and digital screens. It might not result in additional seasons (not that Nick was ever likely to be any beyond the series’s initial four-season order), but if enough “Korra”’s TV viewers migrate to Nick.com and the Nick App for season four, then the calls to break down the walls between TV and digital will continue to get louder.
For its part, though, Nick is pretty bullish about digital platforms. Just in the past year, the network has ordered two TV series from top digital content creators — AwesomenessTV and The Fine Brothers. It also recently launched “Welcome to the Wayne,” the first of multiple digital-only series coming to Nick.com and the Nick App, all developed out of the network’s animated-shorts development pipeline.
For “Korra” fans who still prefer to watch stuff on TV, Nick plans to re-air the third season of “Korra” starting September 15, which means season four will likely get the same treatment down the road.