Hollywood’s obsessed with rebooting past shows, and usually it’s a bad idea. It’s impossible to recreate the environment, sensibilities and culture that produced the original show, and as we all know, a lot of things about our culture and especially the entertainment industry have not improved over the last decade or so.
But, if Nickelodeon can resist the impulse to “update” its charming 1996-2006 hit series “Blue’s Clues,” there might actually be something safe for your preschoolers to watch.
The show focused on animated blue-spotted dog Blue and her human pal (played by Steve Burns and then Donovan Patton) as they went on a treasure hunt, seeking clues and learning reasoning skills and problem-solving. Inspire by “Sesame Street,” it was the result of research and field-testing with real two-to-six-year-olds.
Nickelodeon has ordered 20 new episodes and plans to air them on its Nick Jr. network, which is geared for preschoolers. Original producer Angela Santomero will return to supervise the reboot.
Blue will also get a new look. From Variety:
Producers will tweak the show very slightly for modern viewers. Blue looks a little different than she did after the first run ended, for example. She will look more three-dimensional and appear “even furrier and more huggable,” said the producer. And the show will have 30 seconds to 60 seconds shorter to accommodate advertising and network promos.. But reworking the premise in radical fashion would not spark the reaction executives want, said Santomero. “There’s an inherent nostalgia from our audience,” she said. “I think they will probably be passionate about protecting it and making sure we do it right.”
The show is also looking for a new host. Nickeolodeon is holding an open-call audition for a new host on Saturday, April 14, in Burbank, California.
From the event page:
We are seeking females and males who can play 18-25 years old, all ethnicities. Talent must be 18 years old or older to audition. Our host will have a comedy background, a natural connection with the camera, and will empower the home viewer to feel important, respected, and smart. Playing the guitar, singing, and juggling are all a plus. We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. Please submit qualified performers, without regard to disability, race, age, national origin, ethnic origin or any other basis prohibited by law.
Filming is set to begin this summer; no premiere date has yet been announced.
Considering the “progressive” influences that have been steadily creeping into children’s entertainment, a lot of Catholic parents have become understandably wary.
Nickelodeon did do a good job with its recent movie revival of “Hey, Arnold!”, so I remain cautiously optimistic that “Blue’s Clues” will come back to life with its original spirit intact.
Image: Courtesy Nickelodeon