Blue's Clues is an American live-action/animated educational children's television series that premiered on Nick Jr. on September 8, 1996. Producers/creators Angela Santomero, Todd Kessler, and Traci Paige Johnson combined concepts from child development and early-childhood education with innovative animation and production techniques that helped their viewers learn. The show was originally hosted by Steve Burns, who left in 2002 and was replaced by Donovan Patton as Joe for the rest of the series. The show follows an animated blue-spotted dog named Blue as she leaves a trail of clues/paw prints for the host and the viewers to figure out her plans for the day. Blue's Clues became the highest-rated show for preschoolers on American commercial television and was critical to Nickelodeon's growth. It has been called "one of the most successful, critically acclaimed, and ground-breaking preschool television series of all time". A spin-off called Blue's Room premiered in 2004.