Blue Prints (partially found unaired pilot episode of "Blue's Clues" animated/live action TV series; 1994-1995)
Blue's Clues is a American animated/live action children's TV show that aired on Nick Jr. from 1996 to 2006. The show follows Steve (later Joe) and his dog, Blue, looking for "clues" (blue paw-prints made by Blue), and then piecing the clues together, leading into the climax of the story.
Development & Pilot
The show spent many years in development, with the show's writers experimenting around with different ideas, such as Blue originally being a cat named Mr. Orange, then Mr. Blue. These ideas resulted in the unaired 1994/1995 test pilot created with the working title, Blue Prints.
There is a common misconception that the pilot actually starred Mr. Orange, instead of Blue like in the final show. This is not true, as Blue is featured in some screenshots and available footage.
The pilot was shot in either 1994 or 1995, there are conflicting sources on the exact year the pilot was shot. The show's creator, Angela C. Santomero, said that the pilot was done in 1994, while Dave Palmer, the co-designer of Blue and a crew member for the Blue Prints pilot, has said in an email that the pilot was done in the summer of 1995 with a small crew.
After the pilot was finished, it was only shown to a few preschoolers as a way to test out the show's interactive elements. According to reports, the children ate it up, but there were several changes that needed to be made. Mr. Salt also had a Brooklyn accent as a contrast to the French accent he was ultimately given. Steve also sported a red shirt instead of his signature green stripes shown in the final show.
The Blue's Clues Wiki also states that the pilot was the basis for the first episode of the actual show, "Snack Time", though this has yet to be confirmed.
The pilot was very obscure and mostly unknown until 2006, when Nickelodeon aired a 10-year anniversary special detailing the history and development of the show. A few short clips of the pilot were shown, and the crew members commented on it. After the airing, fans of the series scoured online resources, including bootlegs, torrents, and file-sharing sites to no avail. Nickelodeon has yet to fully release the episode, as they have stated "it felt it was too different from the rest of the series".
On October 16th, 2020, the Nick Jr. Twitter account posted a previously unseen screenshot of the pilot, revealing Blue with a slightly different design, proving a copy still exists in Nickelodeon's possession.
In January 2021, the show's co-creator, Angela C. Santomero, posted a picture of her and Steve from a taping of the pilot on her Instagram. In the comment section, she revealed she has a copy of the pilot and stated that it was filmed around 1994. It is unknown if she will release it.
Other Nick Jr. Pilots
- Dora the Explorer (partially found unaired pilot episodes of Nick Jr. animated series; late 1990s)
- Me and My Friends (partially found live-action pilot of "The Backyardigans" Nick Jr. CGI-animated series; 1998)
- Super Why! (partially found stop-motion Nick Jr. pilot of PBS Kids CGI series; 1999)
- Wikipedia page on Blue's Clues. Retrieved 07 May '20
- Blue's Clues Wiki page on Blue Prints. Retrieved 07 May '20
- Instagram post by Blues Clues creator Angela C. Santomero, including a picture from the taping of the pilot. Retrieved 10 Feb '21
- Dave Palmer's email with information on the Blue Prints pilot. Retrieved 23 Feb '21
- Nick Jr.'s Twitter post with a previously unseen screenshot from the pilot. Retrieved 16 Oct '20
- CBR.com article on Angela Santomero saying she has the pilot. Retrieved 23 Feb '21