Nickelodeon has found a new human companion for Blue, the animated canine who tries to lead kiddie viewers to pre-school literacy.
The Viacom kids-media unit intends to launch a new season of “Blue’s Clues,” which first debuted in 1996., with a new host and name. The revival, which will be called “Blue’s Clues & You,” and run on the Nick Jr. cable network aimed at pre-schoolers, stars Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz and will launch production this month in Toronto. The new season will consist of 20 episodes.
Dela Cruz is, in a way, picking up a baton. Original host Steve Burns helped producers search for the new host. “I had the great honor of being a part of the search for the new host, and I give Josh two thumbs up!” Burns said in a statement. “He can definitely fill my shoes, and the rugby shirt.”
Dela Cruz recently appeared in “Disney’s Aladdin” on Broadway as the understudy for Aladdin and a member of the ensemble. He has also appeared in David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” and “Encores!: Merrily We Roll Along.” He has also appeared in the CBS series “Bull” and the ABC series “Time After Time.” Producers were impressed by ” his genuineness to his comedic timing and range,” said Shelly Sumpter Gillyard, executive vice president of talent, music and events, Nickelodeon Group.
Viewers of the series are led have historically been led on a journey that has them searching for hints and making use of a “Thinking Chair” that helps them learn skills like sorting and patterning. Part of the appeal of the “Blue’s Clues” host in the past has been his ability to talk to viewers at home and get them to continue to pay attention as the program’s narrative unfurls. Many preschooler favorites are presented “magazine-style,” with a collection of short segments, but “Blue’s Clues” always stood apart from the pack because it took viewers through a storyline from start to finish.
The original “Blue’s Clues” series ran for six seasons, but still runs on many Nickelodeon international outlets and Noggin, a subscription-video service operated by Viacom. Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler, and Angela C. Santomero, “Blue’s Clues” highlighted interactivity and explored subjects such as sign language, geography, physics, emotions, and anatomy.
This isn’t the first youthful franchise Nickelodeon has revived in recent years. In November, the company retooled the series “Hey Arnold!” with a movie that wrapped up unresolved plot lines from the series, which aired between 1996 and 2004. In 2016, the network revived “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” a mid-nineties game show, with a movie that took them, much like the original program, through a jungle-themed obstacle course.