Friday, April 10, 2020

Nickelodeon Greenlights Second Season of 'Blue’s Clues & You!' as Series Debuts at Number One

Originally published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

Please note that since this post was originally published, a third season has also been greenlit.

Nickelodeon Greenlights Second Season of Blue’s Clues & You! as Series Debuts at Number One

Share it: @NickJr #BluesCluesAndYou

November 19, 2019 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

NEW YORK--Beloved puppy Blue will skidoo into season two as Nickelodeon greenlights an additional 20 episodes of its newest series Blue’s Clues & You!, which took the top spot as the number-one preschool show in its first week on air (11/11/19-11/17/19). The curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues & You! posted strong gains during its premiere week, up +38% with K2-5 (2.9/257,000) over prior four weeks and +34% among total viewers (674,000). New episodes of Blue’s Clues & You! will continue to air weekdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.

The second season of Blue’s Clues & You! will follow Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) and puppy Blue on brand-new adventures with friends old and new. The new season will also feature special appearances by Steve (Steve Burns), Joe (Donovan Patton), and Josh’s Lola (Carolyn Fe)--his grandmother--along with even more singing and dancing, exploration, celebration, and of course clues that empower preschoolers to help their friends.

Later this month, Nickelodeon will debut a brand-new float inspired by Blue’s Clues & You! in the 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. Host Josh Dela Cruz will perform on the float alongside a 22-foot tall Blue covered in 13 pounds of glitter.

Alongside the linear episodes, brand-new Blue’s Clues & You! play-along videos are currently available in Noggin, Nick’s top-ranked interactive learning subscription for preschoolers. The play-along videos allow users to explore the stories in an immersive way, and engage with live-action host Josh and the animated characters, by tapping, touching or swiping to navigate through enhanced learning experiences. Preschoolers have the ability to customize elements, like the color of the clues or the creation of birthday cards for Blue, and then see their designs appear throughout the video. The classic Blue’s Clues library is also available on Noggin and additional Blue’s Clues & You! play-along videos will continue to roll out into next year.

Original short-form content and full-length episodes of Blue’s Clues & You! are available now on and the Nick Jr. App. Episodes are also available on Nick Jr. On Demand and Download-To-Own services.

Blue’s Clues & You! follows Blue as she invites viewers to join her and Josh on a clue-led adventure and solve a puzzle in each episode. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspire the audience to interact with the characters.

The original Blue’s Clues series launched in September 1996 to critical praise from educators, parents, and preschoolers and ran for six groundbreaking seasons. Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler, and Angela C. Santomero, Blue’s Clues drew acclaim and high ratings for its unique interactivity that helped change the way kids watch television and has remained one of the most popular preschool shows of all time. The landmark series also raised the bar in preschool television by exploring advanced subject matter such as sign language, geography, physics, emotions, and anatomy.

Nickelodeon, now in its 40th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).


From Showbiz Cheat Sheet:

'Blue's Clues & You' Host Joshua Dela Cruz Breaks Barriers as Asian-American Children's Television Show Host

Actor Joshua Dela Cruz is bringing a fresh, new perspective to television as the first Asian-American host of Blue’s Clues & You.

Dela Cruz became the host of the groundbreaking, updated Nickelodeon series, Blue’s Clues & You in 2019. Launched in 1996, Blue’s Clues is an exploratory series that allows the host to examine life through the lens of his dog Blue. The series weaves live action with interactive cartoons as worlds collide during the host’s busy day. The mailbox sings, salt and pepper shakers dance and a “handy dandy notebook” helps the Blue and the host uncover the “clues” during the day.

The series has featured two other hosts. Steve Burns was the original host. Then, actor Donovan Patton took on the role of Joe. The show wrapped in 2007 but is now being rebooted with Dela Cruz as the show’s lead. Burns and Patton will also return. But Cruz shared that the show will be updated to reflect the current cultural vibe.

Why did it take so long to see an Asian-American as a children’s show host?
Children’s programming dawned with shows like Howdy Doody, followed by series like Romper Room, Bozo the Clown and a slew of animated shows. Nearly every series lacked diversity until Sesame Street arrived in 1969. The cast featured puppets who interacted with the children and adults on the show, which also included several people of color.

But diversity wasn’t as widespread in children’s programming until recently. Dela Cruz says he isn’t sure why it took until 2019 to feature an Asian-American as the host. But he’s thrilled to be paving the way for others. “You know, everything comes at its own time,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “It’s very funny watching old movies and TV shows and then realizing how it wasn’t diverse at all, outside of even bit parts.”

“It’s very surprising, even today, whenever movies come out and it’s usually just white men,” he continues. “And it’s a little like, you scratch your head and are like, ‘Oh, we’re still doing this.’ But I think a lot has to do with the creative team.”

Creative teams are becoming more diverse
Dela Cruz points out that as creative teams become more diverse, the roles they write are for a wider demographic. He credits creators Angela Santomero and Traci Paige Johnson for their ability to bring more diversity to children’s programming. “Because they’re the ones bringing in the diversity,” he says. “And there are so many diverse actors out there like they don’t even get the opportunity to be looked at.”

“But I think the diversity that’s in the creative team really helps move us forward and move us along,” he continues. “And what more, there’s a lack of good material for people to use. If there’s good material out there, people will stop seeing a Filipino guy or a black woman. And just start seeing an actor. A good actor.”

Dela Cruz is optimistic that programming is trending toward diversity. “Thankfully it is getting better and it is progressing,” he says. “But even before diversity was really a hit, Nickelodeon was really the most diverse channel I had ever seen. As far as cartoons like, Hey, Arnold! was a much closer depiction of what New York City looked like. If you even compare that with a popular television show like Friends, a children’s cartoon show was more diverse than that, which was really important for me growing up to see that. And so I’m just so excited and I’m so honored that I get to be in this role.”

He adds that viewers are going to be treated to some of his culture, which includes introducing a new character. “I get a grandmother,” he shares. “This is very exciting to me because, in the Philippines, they call the grandmother, Lola! So I get a Lola and I get to be able to share a piece of my culture with everyone watching.”


From BSCKids:

Josh Dela Cruz Talks Blue’s Clues & You – Exclusive Interview

Talking to Josh Dela Cruz about Blue’s Clues & You is something that is very special to our family as Blue’s Clues was one of those shows that my son loved. We were happy to find out that Blue’s Clues & You would be entertaining and teaching another generation of children with Josh Dela Cruz as the host. Given the opportunity to ask Josh some questions about his career as well as both of the shows with Blue was something we have been looking forward to for a while.

Having premiered in the winter of 2019 and already being picked up for a second season, one of Nickelodeon’s most iconic children’s series to date “Blue’s Clues & You” is back and better than ever with new host Josh Dela Cruz. Rebooted from the original 1996 series “Blue’s Clues,” the all-new 2019 series invites its viewers to join in on collaborative, clue-led adventures to solve puzzles that mixes live-action and digital animation.

Let’s talk some Blue’s Clues & You with Josh Dela Cruz!

BSCKids: We have a huge attachment to Blue’s Clues and my middle son carried around a plush puppy Blue with him for years. Do you find that people tell you stories like that a lot and do you have a favorite?

Josh Dela Cruz: I heard one of my favorite stories about the show while I was in the middle of auditioning. I was going over lines backstage at Aladdin on Broadway when a fellow cast member overheard that I was auditioning for the remake of BLUES CLUES and YOU. We immediately started to reminisce about watching the show as kids and as our conversation grew, the cast started singing the “Mail Song” at the top of their lungs. That’s when I realized just how special this show really is. Up until that point, my memories of the show were only shared between my sister and I. We played along finding clues, laughed, and sang every song. I look back now and realize we were sharing those moments with kids all over the world. Decades later as adults we’ve discussed how our connection through kindness, silliness and empathy were, in large part, lessons we learned on Blue’s Clues.

We grew up right around the corner from Paper Mill Playhouse and loved seeing shows there, tell us about your experiences there.

Every year, Paper Mill Playhouse hosts The Rising Star Awards to celebrate the students and Musicals they perform in High School. Essentially, the New Jersey high school Tony Awards. My school was nominated twice. Once for best musical and once for best actor in a musical. As a nominee, you get to perform in front of the largest audience any of us had ever seen. I remember the nervous anticipation as we waited backstage and then to have it all melt away when we stepped under the lights. This is such a happy memory for me.

How familiar with the original show were you? What would you say your favorite original episode was?

Some of my fondest memories come from watching Blue’s Clues with my youngest sister. I remember Steve drawing a cup in his handy dandy notebook so vividly—the circle, two lines and a line on the bottom. Fast forward to my first clue drawing on set and it’s a cup! “A circle, two lines and a line on the bottom.” All of those wonderful memories sitting on the floor of my Aunt’s bedroom watching the show with my little sister came flooding back to me. It’s not so much the episodes that are my favorite, but the time I shared with my sister as we watched, learned, and laughed. I’m so honored that I get to be a part of that experience with families all over the world as they watch our show.

How hard is working with the animated characters and did your work on Aladdin help at all? What has been your funniest slip up while filming Blue’s Clues & You.

As a kid I spent so much time using my imagination. Building worlds, writing stories, drawing pictures. When I became an adult, I started to develop habits that were effective and not necessarily creative. Thankfully, studying theatre requires you to constantly explore uncomfortable territory. You surrender to the unknown and use your imagination to create a world beyond the “fourth wall.” My experience with every show I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, but particularly Aladdin, has helped me immensely. Green-Screen acting forces you to rely solely on your imagination. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I’m sure I slip-up all the time, but the funniest moments have been plugging Josh and Blue into different worlds during playback. Since we’re on green-screen our Digital Imaging Technician can change the background so sometimes we’re being chased by a T-rex, sometimes we’re hanging out with Keanu Reeves…Blue is an action hero at heart.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I think people would be surprised to learn that I am very much an introvert. A little ironic that I’ve chosen to be an actor for a living. I used to have a lot of trouble reading out loud in class as a kid. I was just so nervous. Theatre taught me to slow to down and shift my focus to other people in the room instead of thinking about my own fears. To listen and to immerse myself in the story. Now I pretty much read out loud for a living and love it.

Besides Blue who would you say is your favorite character on the show?

I love Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper. They are the bridge to what we as adults are thinking at home. And they’re hilarious.

Tell us about your Jiu Jitsu and how that has helped you create balance with your career? Tell us about your journey to becoming vegan.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not only my favorite form of exercise but one of the best ways to learn how to stay in the moment. While you’re wrestling, your partner confronts you with challenging obstacles and uncomfortable situations that would normally illicit a very muscled, labored, and panicked reaction. In these situations, it’s natural to stop thinking clearly and let the panic take over. Practicing Jiu Jitsu has taught me not to panic in an uncomfortable situation and instead, take a deep breath, calm my mind and throw away my doubt so I can solve the problem in front of me. In class we’re taught that we already have the tools we need to face adversity we just need to shift our perception to use them.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known as the “Gentle Art” because it is one of the only martial arts that can end a physical fight without hurting anyone. I think when we meet with adversity, the tendency is to fight with the people around you or to be unkind with yourself. Instead, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches me to be respectful to adversity and to myself. Defeat is just an opportunity to learn about yourself and no matter what, you can survive. I’ve applied that philosophy to my entire life and have found that I’m more open to new experiences and am happier because of it.

My wife and I became vegan almost 4 and a half years ago. At that time, cancer started to appear on both sides of my family and neurodegenerative disease on her side. We decided that we wanted to be as healthy as possible for each other and our families to help minimize those risks that are becoming so prevalent in our world today. I used to be worried I wouldn’t be able to intermittent fast, or that I would become lethargic or lose the strength and athleticism I had worked so hard to get with a carnivorous diet. What actually happened was I had more energy, became stronger, and felt much better overall. Additionally, growing up neither of us had ever felt good about the process of how meat found its way onto our plates, but we felt like we “had” to eat meat. Everyone is different but for us being vegan feels so right and it’s something we wish we had realized a long time ago. My wife and I have been spending a lot more time cooking together because we’re vegan and discovered how much we love finding new recipes… even if not all of them turn out so well.

Why should parents turn Blue’s Clues & You on for their kids?

There is so much content for kids today it can be overwhelming sifting through every show trying to find something parents can trust. Blue’s Clues was created in 1996 because there was a lack of quality programming that was based on childhood developmental research. Since its premiere, it has proven time and time again that both parents and kids value and love what the show has to offer. Blue’s Clues has become a cherished childhood memory to generations of kids—many of whom are parents today. Over twenty years later, the show is just as entertaining, lovable and backed with new childhood developmental research. What’s more, parents can now share a piece of their own childhood and how the show helped them to learn and grow with their kids. Sharing experiences like this strengthens your relationship as a family and creates priceless memories like I had with my sister.

You can watch Josh and Blue in this Blue’s Clues & You Silly Town Mix Up Nick Jr. clip below:



9 Story’s Vince Commisso on What Makes Kids Laugh

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, a show for which 9 Story Media Group teamed up with PBS, is based on a book property called Ordinary People Change the World from Brad Metlzer. In the TV series, Xavier Riddle and his pals journey back in time to meet iconic historical figures like Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhardt—not as the icons they became, but as kids brimming with the potential that foretold their futures. According to Vince Commisso, the president and CEO of 9 Story Media Group, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum works because “Xavier, his sister Youdina and their friend Brad are ambassadors for the audience at home. There’s a funny dynamic between the three of them and it gets funnier when they interact with the other characters.” He adds of the entertaining educational series, “All the comedy is driven by the characters.” Commisso talks to TV Kids Weekly about the continued selling power of kids’ comedy and the importance of having character-driven stories like those found in Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum in appealing to children—and parents—of all ages.

This interview was conducted prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Media companies are currently shifting their strategies in the wake of production postponements.

TV KIDS: What is the overall demand for kids’ comedy? Does comedy sell better than other genres?
COMMISSO: Kids’ content in general is selling really, really well. There’s a great demand for kids’ comedy from the OTT world and the SVOD world. Of course, there are still major kids’ channels around the world that look for content. And the demand has never been greater than it is today. I actually don’t think you can make any kind of kids’ content these days without there being a comedic element to it. Kids always want to be entertained with a smile, with a giggle. You can engage them through some other ethos—creativity, friendship, family, empathy—but if there’s not a comedic element to it, you won’t succeed.

TV KIDS: What role can comedy play in curriculum-driven/educational content?
COMMISSO: If you think about doing educational content today, you have to actually lead with the entertainment and with the comedy and then deliver the education in that construct because that’s what sticks. If you even think about when you were a child and all of the shows that you watched when you were a kid, the things that resonate with you today are the things that you learned from—the things where you learned life lessons from or some hard data. You wouldn’t have learned them or gotten that unless you were entertained or compelled by the content.

TV KIDS: Are you finding slapstick humor or character-driven humor more popular these days?
COMMISSO: I feel like it’s all character-driven. But when you start talking about ages, you have to deliver the comedy a little bit differently. If you’re dealing with 2 to 5, preschoolers, the comedy has to be gentle, deliver a giggle and maybe a little, What do you think that means? And the answer is, I don’t know! And the audience will laugh, right? And that’s kind of soft, gentle comedy and you can deliver that and it makes the kids smile at that age, makes them laugh. We’re doing Blue’s Clues & You! with Nickelodeon for a very young audience, and so much of the comedy comes from when Josh [Dela Cruz] on screen is looking for something, the clue, and it’s right in front of him and he doesn’t know where it is. The kids are watching and going, It’s right there! He picks it up and goes, Oh it’s right here, nobody told me! And the kids laugh really loud because they know they just told him. You engage them through that entertainment element.

When you get a little older, it becomes more character-driven. You start to get a little bit more into what it’s like for the characters, who like each other, but when they interact with each other, they do things that are unexpected or say things that are unexpected. You start to get comedy that’s a little bit bolder. Then, if you get a little bit older still, it gets to be kind of wise-cracky and slap-sticky. You could have slapstick when you’re younger, but that’s got to be more seasoning than the essence of it. When you’re older, it’s always got to be character-driven [and] you can do a little more, be a little more liberated with the visuals and the extremes of the characters.

TV KIDS: What about live-action comedies versus animated?
COMMISSO: Everything has to deliver comedy for kids, and live-action comedy really is about a link to the characters. That absolutely has to be character-driven. The comedies that work, the shows that have worked in live-action for kids usually have a main character that has two layers—one that’s relatable and one that’s aspirational. Their everyday life is relatable and then they have something about them that is superstar-like or unattainable, but it’s fantasy. We’ve seen plenty of examples of that. That relatable piece has to involve humor, has to connect with other characters in a construct that’s very similar to the audience—like a family construct with a wise-cracking brother.

TV KIDS: Are family-viewing shows with jokes for everyone having a moment?
COMMISSO: What you’re seeing now—because things are available on-demand, so you can get them anytime you want—is [demand for shows] for families to sit and watch together. They used to be driven by schedules, like when we were watching linear television. What was on at 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock that the family could watch together? A lot of that was the reality shows and music shows like American Idol and things like that that everybody could watch together. Now it’s broader because you can watch anything. You can put on whatever compels you to watch as a family. Often that’s a family movie, but sometimes there are series that you can watch with your kids and your family that are for everyone that will go on serialized. We’ll watch one tonight, we’ll watch one tomorrow night. And that, depending on the children’s ages, works really well.

TV KIDS: What do shows need in order to appeal to the whole family?
COMMISSO: You have to have entry points for all of them that they can relate to. You assume that there’s a family watching at home. You generally have to deliver them a family construct and then you have to say, This person is relatable in his or her role inside the family to someone in the audience at home. And then you have to create a conceit around that that’s compelling. Even the early Steven Spielberg movies—E.T., and he did one recently called Super 8—it’s always about kids and families that have become empowered. That movie works for all audiences. We’re seeing more and more content created in that mindset rather than a movie or limited series and even high-end limited series because there’s no bigger win for the platform than to have everybody in a home watching this show.

TV KIDS: What kind of comedy travels best? And what are the potential challenges of translating humor?
COMMISSO: Comedy that travels best tends to be character comedy. When there’s a character that compels you because he or she is funny. SpongeBob is a great example. SpongeBob is a hysterical character who has unbridled optimism. That’s something you can appreciate all over the world. His take on things is simplistic and unique. And he’s very transparent as to what he is and that’s appealing. That’s going to work. The challenges sometimes are either in cultural or dialogue nuances. When you make a joke in a certain language that you have to translate into another language, the joke doesn’t land because of the translation. Or, if you make a joke that is about pop culture or any kind of specific cultural reference, it’s only funny in that culture. Laughter is universal but sometimes comedy isn’t and you have to make sure that your comedy is universal.


More Nick: Nickelodeon Announces First Licensing Partners for 'Blue’s Clues & You!'!

Source: Business Wire (via Deadline); H/T: Anime Superhero Forum /PinkiePie97, @TVShowsFan.

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