Netflix “Avatar: The Last Airbender” Season 1 Debuts Higher Than “One Piece” But Is It Enough For a Season Two?

Avatar the last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Kiawentiio as Katara, Gordon Cormier as Aang, Ian Ousley as Sokka in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023

Netflix has shared the debut numbers for the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender season one. The first season was able to beat One Piece viewership. But are those numbers enough to warrant an immediate season two? Let’s talk about it!

Premiering on Netflix on February 22, 2024, the response to the first season of the live-action adaptation of the beloved animated Avatar: The Last Airbender series hasn’t been warm. The show continues to cause online debates (and outright arguments) amongst the fandom and currently sits at 60% over at Rotten Tomatoes with 65 critic reviews and a 76% Audience Score.

Many were eagerly awaiting the official viewing numbers to come in to fuel whichever side of the debate they were on when it came to ATLA being deserving of a second chapter. While the viewing numbers do seem impressive at first, I feel context is required to determine the chances of ATLA getting a season two on Netflix. After all, it’s definitely not a cheap show to make.

According to Netflix, the first season of ATLA got 21.2 million views during the February 9 – February 25, 2024, window with 153.4 million hours viewed. This put the season at an undisputed Number 1 position on the Global Top 10 chart. The numbers are also higher than the live-action One Piece season one debut at 18.5 million live viewers and 140.1 million hours viewed during the August 28 – September 3, 2023, window.

Now, let’s give ourselves some context by going over the debuts of other recent shows.

The Sofía Vergara-starring Griselda: Limited Series attracted 20.6 million viewers during the January 22-January 28, 2024, window. The Fool Me Once: Limited Series got 37.1 million views during the January 1-January 7, 2024 window. Both shows were clearly far cheaper than ATLA to produce and didn’t have similar brand recognition.

Coming back to One Piece season one, take note that it premiered during the long-running 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, with creative talent not being able to properly promote their projects. Not only that, but it currently stands at an impressive 85% Critic Score and 95% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The show was able to remain at the Top with 19.3 million views during the second week. And it stuck around in the Top 10 Global Chart for 8 weeks. Such a performance showed longevity and a very involved fandom.

With how things stand right now, the performance numbers during the second and third weeks are crucial for ATLA. Can the divisive reaction really help amplify the word of mouth around the show to keep it afloat in the Netflix charts? We will find out soon enough. 

One Piece vs ATLA could end up being yet another example of winning the battle but not the war. Yes, ATLA has defeated One Piece during the debut, but will it have the legs to remain in the fight and make season two a reality?

All I’m saying is don’t fall for the incredibly positive spin certain media outlets are putting on ATLA‘s debut numbers. Be cautious. If you’re a fan and want another chapter, keep rewatching the series and ask your friends and family to do the same. The Gaang isn’t out of the woods yet.

What did you think of Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender season one?

Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

(via Netflix)

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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