Nickelodeon’s peppy little blue puppy has received a new series title — Blue’s Clues & You — and has been introduced to a new human pal in Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz, who will help her and her viewers solve everyday puzzles. Production on the updated series begins this month in Toronto.
“From the moment we decided to make a new version of the series, we knew that so much of the energy and magic of the show comes from the host’s ability to bring preschoolers into the colorfully animated world of Blue and her friends,” said Cathy Galeota, SVP, Preschool Content, Nickelodeon Group. “Josh’s wonderful theater background and his natural charisma checked all the boxes for us, and of course Steve’s stamp of approval only solidified our decision.”
Dela Cruz is making his TV series regular debut in Blue’s Clues & You. He recently appeared in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway as the understudy for Aladdin and a member of the ensemble. Other notable theatre credits include David Byrne’s Here Lies Love and Encores!: Merrily We Roll Along. He has also appeared in CBS’s Bull and ABC’s Time After Time.
As in the original series, Blue’s Clues & You (20 episodes), invites viewers to join Blue and the live-action host on a clue-led adventure and solve a daily puzzle. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspire viewers to interact with the action.
Original Blue’s Clues host Steve Burns helped guide the audition process during the search for a new host, saying: “I had the great honor of being a part of the search for the new host, and I give Josh two thumbs up! He can definitely fill my shoes, and the rugby shirt.”
“The search for the new host of Blue’s Clues & You was no small task, but we knew as soon as we met Josh that he was the perfect choice,” said Shelly Sumpter Gillyard, EVP, Talent, Music and Events, Nickelodeon Group. “From his genuineness to his comedic timing and range, there was no doubt that he could carry the show on for the next generation of preschoolers.”
Blue’s Clues launched in 1996 and ran for six seasons. Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler and Angela C. Santomero, the hybrid series drew acclaim and high ratings for its unique interactivity; the series also raised the bar for preschool programming by exploring advanced subjects such as sign language, geography, physics, emotions and anatomy. The classic series library is available on Nickelodeon’s pre-k SVOD service NOGGIN, and short form content is available on the Nick Jr. App and NickJr.com.