Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Beats ‘One Piece’ For No. 1 Debut

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender made a monumental debut, securing the top spot on Netflix’s most-watched list with 21.2 million views in its opening week of 19 to 25 February.

This performance outshined the platform’s previous live-action adaptation, One Piece, which garnered 18.5 million views in its initial four days last September. Avatar: The Last Airbender not only dominated Netflix’s Top 10 TV shows but also achieved a viewership milestone by attracting 153.4 million hours of watch time from 21.2 million viewers, surpassing One Piece‘s first-week figures.

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

The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, which launched on 22 February, follows the journey of Aang (Gordon Cormier) as he embarks on a quest to master the four elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim). Despite receiving mixed reviews, with some critics pointing out deviations from the original animated series, the show’s faithful adaptation of key elements has been praised. It wrapped up in a manner that sets the stage for a potential second season, hinting at the continuation of the narrative with the conquest of Omashu and the introduction of fan-favourite Toph.

Given the show’s impressive first-week performance, anticipation for a second season announcement is high. Netflix’s history of renewing successful series, such as the quick renewal of One Piece, suggests a positive outlook for Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s future on the platform. Netflix’s recent practice of sharing viewership data offers insight into the show’s potential for renewal, contingent on sustained viewership and positive fan reception.

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

While the future of a second season remains officially unconfirmed, the series has set a high benchmark for success. Despite the challenges faced by live-action anime adaptations, as seen with Cowboy Bebop, the mixed yet hopeful reactions to Avatar: The Last Airbender suggest a more optimistic trajectory.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is now streaming on Netflix.