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It's certainly something that crossed my mind when he was first introduced but, IDK. He's gotten quite a lot of favorable treatment from the show and merchandising, so that's a good sign.
So my answer is, I don't know if he could become the next Elmo, but I do really like him. I think he's a very cute character, and as the resident little brother of the group he serves a very similar function to Elmo's back in the 80s/early 90s. I think when people talk about Rudy becoming the next big star of the show they say it as if it'll happen over night. We can't forget that it took more than a decade for Elmo to become the show's biggest star.
She was created to be the most marketable, merchandise selling female character on the show. Elmo was already the star and main toy seller, so I guess in a way Abby is the female equivalent to Elmo by default.
I dunno. I mean, he feels more of a real kid than Elmo, but I don't think he has that "hook" to differentiate him as anything more than a young male monster; I guess maybe the whole "step brother" thing, but he has to be more than that.
And lest we forget, characters come and go. Rudy may wind up facing the same fates as Lulu, Curly Bear, Juliet, Betty Lou, Farley, etc.
Not really sure what she's up to, I guess just living a normal life. She has a Facebook but she doesn't post very often. She has a son who appears to be either in his late teens or his 20s. She traveled to Tailand at some point late last year, and she was still working for The Jim Henson Company at least as late as 2003.