July 13, 2012

Korra picked up for 26 more episodes

Probably your reaction right now.
The latest news out of Comicon is that Nickelodeon has picked up Korra for another 26 episodes, bringing the total up to 56. For reference, the original Avatar series ran for 61 episodes. Confusingly, Nick is referring to the show in terms of two "seasons", while the creators split things into four "books". Here's how it break down:

Season 1: 26 episodes
- Book 1: 12 episodes
- Book 2: 14 episodes

Season 2: 26 episodes
- Book 3: 13 episodes
- Book 4: 13 episodes

The story of Korra's production has been pretty all over the place, but here's the condensed version for those of you who are curious:

The Legend of Korra was originally intended to be a 12 episode miniseries, but Nick ordered another 14 episodes halfway through production for an even 26 episode season. However, the show's creators (Mike DiMartion and Bryan Konietzko) wanted to do things in smaller arcs and intended to make them in bunches of 12 instead of 20 (as with the original series). But Nick changed the plan and wanted an industry-standard 26 episode season and ordered 14 more episodes in the middle of production. This time around, they ordered a second batch of 26 episodes enough in advance that the arcs can be split evenly. Since I might not be explaining this clearly, let me use another example.

Last year, Comedy Central picked up Futurama for another production season of 26 episodes. However, those episodes are split into two 13-episode television seasons aired a year apart. That's what's happening now, except the team got late notice with the first season.

Anyway, this presents an interesting opportunity. The first book had an air of finality about it because it was intended to be final. But now, since books three and four have been ordered in advance, Mike and Bryan have an opportunity to create deeper, interlocking story arcs. I wasn't a fan of the "everything started is completed ended" approach of book one, but I think the new production schedule will eliminate that with the next 44 episodes. It's unfortunate that book one happens to be the shortest, because it easily could have spanned a full season length. I do hope the future books leave room for more interconnectivity, and I really hope Mike and Bryan hire some real writers.

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