Avatar: The Last Airbender is co-created/produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California. It is animated in South Korea. The first episode of Avatar was created six years following its original conception, a period much longer than the norm for animated shows.
According to co-creator Bryan Konietzko, the concept of the program was initially conceived when he took an old sketch of his—a balding, middle-aged man—and turned the character into a child. Bryan then did a drawing in which the boy was shepherding bison through the sky. At the time, Mike DiMartino was studying a documentary about explorers who were trapped in the South Pole. The various aspects all seemed to gradually come together. The two thought:
The co-creators proceeded to successfully pitch the idea to Nickelodeon VP and executive producer Eric Coleman just two weeks later.
While it was originally set to premiere in November 2004, the first episode of Avatar aired in February 2005. Following the conclusion of the first season of Avatar, Nickelodeon promptly ordered a second twenty-episode season that premiered on March 17, 2006, and concluded on December 1. The third season began on September 21, 2007.
In an interview with Steve Fritz for the Beckett Unofficial Pokemon Collector magazine, Bryan Koneietzko confirmed that Nickelodean has signed on for an additional three seasons, meaning that if all seasons are produced, Avatar would have a run of at least six seasons total. However, both he and co-creator Mike DiMartino have repeatedly also confirmed that there will be no season four nor other additional seasonal arcs to their current storyline. Although the co-creators do go on to state that they have other plans in regards to the continuation of their expanded universe.