Blue's Clues is an American children's television show that premiered on September 8, 1996 on the cable television network Nickelodeon, and ran for ten years, until August 6, 2006. Producers Angela Santomero, Todd Kessler and Traci Paige Johnson combined concepts learned from child development and early-childhood education research with innovative animation and production techniques to create a television show that would capture preschool children's attention and help them learn. It was hosted originally by Steve Burns, who left in 2002 to pursue a music career, and later by Donovan Patton. Burns was a crucial reason for the show's success, and rumors that surrounded his departure were an indication of the show's emergence as a cultural phenomenon. Blue's Clues became the highest-rated show for preschoolers on American commercial television and was crucial 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.