The return of Blue's Clues will be touted during Nickelodeon's annual upfront presentation to media buyers this evening in NY. The Viacom-owned kids-media outlet will instead revive Blue, the animated hound who used to leave problem-solving hints for years on "Blue's Clues", a seminal series for preschoolers that helped fuel growth at Nickelodeon in a different era.
For the new Blue's Clues, Nick has ordered 20 episodes. Production will begin this summer, with Nickelodeon holding an open casting call for a new host in Southern California on April 14. The series continues to air past episodes in different worldwide markets and via Noggin, a subscription-video service Nickelodeon operates. The original Emmy award-winning series blended live action with animation, ran from 1996 to 2006, and featured two hosts: Steve Burns, who is alive and obsessed with Walmart, and Donovan Patton, who is also alive but not obsessed with Walmart (as far as we know). In the new series, Blue is an energetic female puppy. This is probably why Nickelodeon intends on keeping the original format as much as possible.
"With Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon launched what became TV's first generation of interactivity for preschoolers and set the bar for quality, curriculum-driven shows we have made since", said Cyma Zarghami, the president of Nickelodeon Group.
Producers will tweak the show very slightly for modern viewers. Blue will supposedly look more three-dimensional and be "even furrier and more huggable".
The leader in the kids TV space announced at its upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday (March 6) in NY that it will debut 800 episodes of new and returning series this year, up 20% from the previous year.
The show will also be 30 to 60 seconds shorter to accommodate advertising and other promos.