'Legend of Korra: Book 3' shift to digital explained at Comic-Con 2014

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legend-of-korra-comic-con-panel-nickelodeon.jpg "The Legend of Korra" co-creator Brian Konietzko surprised fans Wednesday (July 23) when he revealed that the remaining episodes of "Book 3" will not be airing on Nickelodeon. He and fellow creator Mike DiMartino set the record straight about the shift to digital platforms during their San Diego Comic-Con 2014 panel.

"It's part of this huge sea change in the industry," Konietzko says. "Things have changed just for us between when we did 'Avatar: [The Last Airbender]' ... and when we came back on the air in 2012 [with 'Legend of Korra']. When 'Book 1' of 'Korra' came out, it did pretty good numbers on TV, but its online numbers were just insane."

"Legend of Korra's" numbers have been down on Nickelodeon for "Book 3," but Konietzko says that they've only grown on Nick.com, the Nickelodeon app and on streaming services. The "Book 2" finale, for example, was the biggest digital hit on the channel's website of the year. That seems to be what convinced Nickelodeon to have the show live online.

Konietzko says it's no secret that the channel has "had kind of a hard time fitting it into their programming." The shift "definitely caught us by surprise. It wasn't necessarily done in the smoothest way," he adds.

But the show is not canceled, which is good news for fans. DiMartino says the rest of the season won't change when the final episodes run. The last on-air episode is at 8 p.m. ET/PT Friday on Nick, and the remaining episodes will roll out every Friday from Aug. 1 to Aug. 22 (the two-part "Book 3" finale).

"It really has no effect on what the show is or what the stories we're telling [are]," DiMartino says. "Other than it not being on the Nickelodeon main channel, nothing has changed."

Following that conversation about the shift to digital, the cast and creators of "The Legend of Korra" played a never-before-seen "Book 3" episode during the panel.
Photo/Video credit: Nickelodeon