Avatar: The Last Airbender's mixed reviews mean nothing as Netflix renews hit fantasy show for two more seasons

 Aang smiles as Katara and Sokka stand in the background in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Aang smiles as Katara and Sokka stand in the background in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Netflix has renewed its live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender (A:TLA) for two more seasons.

The incredibly popular fantasy show, which launched on February 22 after mixed reviews from critics, is set to return after Netflix decided to renew it for not one, but two more entries. Just like its animated counterpart, Avatar: The Last Airbender, seasons 2 and 3 will bring Aang's journey to a close, too, with the hit series' next two instalments expected to cover the Book of Earth and Book of Fire – aka the second and third seasons of the Nickelodeon show – respectively.

Netflix hasn't confirmed how many episodes it'll make for seasons 2 and 3, nor has it revealed any other details, such as possible new cast additions or when filming will start. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly ahead of the show's release, though, show runner Albert Kim hinted that a possible second season had already been outlined during its predecessor's production. It's possible, then, that filming on season 2 (or both seasons, if they're shot back-to-back) could begin before 2024 ends.

Bending audiences to its will

A:TLA's renewal won't come as a surprise to anyone who's closely followed its success on the world's best streaming service. Six days after all eight episodes premiered on Netflix, Avatar: The Last Airbender was confirmed to be a Netflix hit, with 21.2 million people tuning in to see what all of the fuss was about. It followed that up with another 19.9 million views a week later, with Netflix's Top 10 TV chart revealing today (March 6) that the Gordon Cormier-starring series was the most-watched show on Netflix for the second week running. In total, A:TLA has become Netflix's number one show in 76 countries.

Given its considerable popularity worldwide, plus the fact it's proven to be a bigger success story than One Piece – Netflix's other fan-favorite live-action anime adaptation – it was only a matter of time before A:TLA was renewed. The fact that it's been so popular despite its middling reviews – in our Avatar: The Last Airbender review, we called it "a largely pleasing homage to the original series and frequently entertaining but is undermined by superfluous alterations and an unmistakable identity crisis" – is all the more impressive. If season 1's follow-ups prove just as popular (if not more so) than it was, I wouldn't be amazed if Netflix decides to remake The Legend of Korra, A:TLA's sequel show, as well.

If, like us, you were unimpressed by Netflix's take on A:TLA, you should check out these five exciting fantasy shows instead. Alternatively, I'd recommend reading our best Netflix shows guide, which houses 50 of the greatest TV series that I consider to be must-see television.