“Aladdin” alum Joshua Dela Cruz makes his leading TV debut on the Nick Jr. classic
NICKELODEON is reviving the beloved children’s program “Blue’s Clues” with a new name — “Blue’s Clues & You” — and a new host, Filipino-American Broadway star Joshua Dela Cruz, The Hollywood Reporter reported on Thursday, Sept. 13.
Millennials who were young children in the late 1990s to the early 2000s will remember “Blue’s Clues” as the colorful, interactive program about an animated blue dog named Blue who leaves paw prints on clues.
With the help of a live-action human friend — in the early aughts, it was the beloved Steve (played by Steve Burns) and, later, Steve’s brother Joe (Donovan Patton) — young viewers must find and interpret the clues.
Dela Cruz will take over as the show’s third human host after a stint as the “Aladdin” understudy in the Broadway musical. Before he was an understudy for the lead role in “Aladdin,” the young Fil-Am appeared in “Here Lies Love,” “Merrily We Roll Along” and “The King and I,” which he starred alongside fellow Fil-Am actor Lou Diamond Phillips.
“Blue’s Clues & You” will be Dela Cruz’s television debut as a series regular; previously, he appeared on CBS’ “Bull” and ABC’s “Time After Time.”
“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,” Burns said in a statement.
“Blue’s Clues & You” will follow the same format as its parent show with educational episodes focusing on colors, comprehension, music, math and science. The mainstay of the original show was its interactive nature, inviting the young viewer to be a part of the episode.
“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, Senior VP preschool content at 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.”
A premiere date has yet to be announced, but “Blue’s Clues & You” will begin production in Toronto later this month.