Barney & Friends


Barney & Friends is an American live-action educational children's television series that premiered on the Public Broadcasting Service on April 6, 1992. The series ended on November 2, 2010, although new home videos were still released on various dates after the last episode aired as production of new content ceased in early 2011. Aimed at children from the ages two to seven years, the show is based on to the video series titled Barney & The Backyard Gang which was created by Sheryl Leach and co-developed by Kathy Parker and Dennis DeShazer. The main character of the show is a friendly, stuffed, purple Tyrannosaurus rex named Barney, who comes to life through a child's imagination, whenever he is needed for something. He is joined by his other dino pals Baby Bop, BJ, and Riff, as well as a diverse cast of children.

It was one of the most watched television programs and was the first show on public television to be aimed primarily at toddlers as Leach recognized a void in the market for video programming directed at preschoolers.[4] Barney & Friends became a Daytime Emmy Award winner in 2001, and has been nominated for eleven Emmy Awards during its run on television. The series is currently owned under Mattel since the franchise's acquisition in 2011 with distribution rights currently under 9 Story Media Group since 2015.




The show originated from the home video series, Barney & The Backyard Gang, which was produced by The Lyons Group from 1988 to 1991. The first three videos of the series starred actress Sandy Duncan. As the Backyard Gang video series was becoming only a moderate success outside of Texas (where it was considered successful for a local video series), Leora Rifkin, the daughter of Larry Rifkin (former head of Connecticut Public Television), got a Barney video from a video store in Prospect, Connecticut. She was entranced with Barney's character and her father liked the concept. Knowing that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) were searching for new, quality children’s programming, Rifkin contacted Sheryl. Her company, The Lyons Group, developed a proposal with Connecticut Public Television to produce Barney & Friends.


Premiere and first season

In 1991, production began on thirty episodes of the first season of Barney & Friends. After the television series debuted on April 6, 1992, Barney was a smash hit, exceeding many of PBS' and audiences' expectations.



Unimpressed by Barney & Friends, PBS decided to cancel the series in June 1992 as it couldn't afford it.[5] Earlier, the executives had said that Barney & Friends was the loser in a competition for scarce programming dollars between it and two other children’s series--Lamb Chop’s Play-Along and Shining Time Station.[6] The cast and crew found out about this news during the show's wrap party, and did a letter-writing campaign to all the affiliates and questioned if they knew Barney was being defunded.[7] After PBS decided to cancel the show, members of local PBS stations across the US and Canada, and parents called to object, with PBS reversing their decision. PBS decided to pay $1.75 million for the renewal package, which extended the stations' exclusive rights to broadcast both seasons through April 1998.[8]

After the decision was made to keep Barney on the air and renew it for a second season, the program became a phenomenon and became a huge source of revenue during pledge drives Based on the success of earlier pledge drives in 1992, Connecticut Public Television decided to produce a pledge drive event at their studio featuring Barney and others.

See: Barney & Friends Family Marathon


By the mid-1990s, Barney & Friends was facing increasing competition from other children's television shows, and networks. In 1997, it's status as the #1 children's show on PBS was taken by newcomer, Arthur,[9] and by 1998, was ranked down to third place, due in part to the breakout success of Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues.[10] The show eventually shot back up to No. 1 in September of that year.[11] The show went on a short hiatus after the sixth season.

Bob the Builder, left, Peter Orton, CEO of HIT Entertainment, center, and Barney, pose for pictures in New York Feb. 10, 2001, when Britain's HIT Entertainment bought Lyrick Studios, owners of Barney, the dinosaur for $275 million.


In February 2001, it was announced by PBS and the then-Lyrick Studios that Barney & Friends would soon take place at his home, a setting that was introduced in the home video Come on Over to Barney's House a few months prior. PBS and Lyrick were expected to have the series ready to air for September 2002, with a deal lasting until 2007.[12]

Later that month, the UK based HIT Entertainment acquired Lyrick Studios, the company that distributed Barney & Friends at the time, for $275 million.[13] HIT Entertainment had been handling international distribution for the series,[14] from 1993. until 1996. Richard C. Leach, Sheryl's father-in-law, was scheduled to be a director of HIT while the Leach family would own 16% of the company.[15] Richard died of a heart attack on May 29, 2001 at the age of 73.

As HIT acquired the studio, the setting changed to a more natural and realistic setting with the park as opposed to the imaginary set with Barney's house. The reason for the last-minute decision change was that the production team wanted a set that was a hybrid of a private and a public place, so Sheryl Leach suggested the idea of a train depot,[16] which became the caboose for the new season (which represented the indoors or private area).

Karen Barnes, executive producer at the time, with Riff.


In 2005, Karen Barnes became the new executive producer of the series, replacing Randy Dalton who served for seasons seven, eight and nine. At the same time, the management decided to revamp the show beginning with the next season that would occur (season ten), with the primary focus being to have pop-inspired compositions for the music curriculum.[17] The music curriculum was fused with the introduction of Riff, a six-year-old hadrosaur who was the cousin of BJ and Baby Bop. The episodes to come for this season would be shorten to twelve minute episodes with interstitials to bridge two episodes. This new format was to appeal to international broadcasters.

From late 2006 to early 2007, Connecticut Public Television produced their final season for the show with season eleven, leaving HIT Entertainment to solely produce it. By 2008, WNET New York became the presenting station for the series (and for all HIT properties)[18] until the show(s) dropped from PBS stations.


The show was intended to last until 2013, however, the show went on hiatus and ended in 2010 with season fourteen, a season compiled of episodes from seasons ten and eleven with new content in between and a new version of the theme song.

On October 24, 2011, Mattel bought out HiT Entertainment, the owners of the Barney franchise, for $680 million.[19] On October 6, 2015, 9 Story Media Group announced a long-term partnership with HIT Entertainment, the now subsidiary of Mattel, to distribute pre-school series Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina, as well as as relaunching both properties for a reboot that was slated to debut in 2017.[20] Production never occurred for either one of the properties.

Broadcasting rights for all seasons of Barney & Friends expired nationwide on PBS stations on August 31, 2016, meaning that seasons one through fourteen no longer aired on PBS television stations. The series made a return to television on Universal Kids, the rebrand of Sprout, on December 17, 2018, with reruns of seasons seven through thirteen. Eventually, the series moved off the channel's schedule in 2020 and began rotating episodes on video on demand.


Original format


For a majority the show's run, it opens with the "Barney Theme Song" (over clips from various episodes) and the title card before it dissolves into the episode's topic. The children imagine something and Barney comes to life from a plush doll, transforming into the "real" Barney, how he appears to the children while they're imagining.

Main sequence

Here, the main plot of the episode takes place. Barney and the children learn about the main topic of the episode, with Baby Bop, BJ, and or Riff appearing during the episode and numerous songs themed relating to the subject featured in the series.

Closing sequence

Barney concludes with the song "I Love You " before he dissolves back into his original stuffed form and winks to the audience. After the children leave for the day, the sequence cuts to a segment entitled "Barney Says" where Barney, who is off-screen, narrates what he and his friends had done that day, along with still snapshots from the episode. Then Barney, himself, signs off before the credits roll. In Seasons three through eight, and twelve, he later appeared on-screen by saying, "And remember, I love you," and waves goodbye. There are few rare episodes in which Barney doesn't change back into a doll.


The format of Barney & Friends remained intact until the early to mid-2000s, where changes were being made to appeal to international broadcasters globally. In season nine, the format involved interruption by the dinosaurs doing various segments in front of a white background. In season ten, the format was cut down to episodes broken into twelve minute segments, with the dinosaurs having larger roles, and the cast of children being reduced to background characters. In season eleven, the curriculum was changed to a social-emotional curriculum. Seasons twelve and thirteen returned to the original full-length thirty minute format before season fourteen returned to the twelve minute segment format.



  • Ccf757846fd9b2b5af790cc480af9908-290631819-1301724161-4d96bc01-620x348.jpg
    Barney, BJ, Riff and Baby Bop during a performance of "Barney Live! The Let's Go Tour".
    Barney - the main character, a two hundred million year friendly 6-foot purple tyrannosaurus-rex who comes to life from a plush toy by way of children’s imaginations.
  • Baby Bop - a green three-year-old Triceratops who's BJ's sister, She serves as a vehicle for portraying the behaviors and activities typical of a 2-to 3-year old, the age of much of the viewing audience.
  • BJ - Baby Bop’s seven-year-old brother who was introduced in season two. He is an active, impulsive Protoceratops who especially enjoys baseball, playing with his friends and helping his younger sister.
  • Riff - BJ and Baby Bop's six-year-old cousin who was introduced in season ten. He's an orange Hadrosaur who loves music, imitating sounds and taking ordinary things and jazzing them up.


The children in the cast of each episode represent various ethnic backgrounds with diverse interests and abilities. A various cast of children have been featured in the series throughout the years.

See: Kids


  • Scooter McNutty - a lively, brown, furry squirrel, appearing in seasons four, five and six, who has mishaps and misadventures that are the result of acting first and thinking later.[21]
  • Miss Etta Kette - a lavender-feathered bird, appearing in seasons four, five and six, who teaches children about manners and being kind to others.[21]
  • Booker T. Bookworm - an orange worm with interests in books, who only appeared in season five.

See Also: Puppets

Season 5 cast


  • Stella the Storyteller - appearing in seasons three to six, she shares tales of travels from around the world.
  • Mr. Boyd - the school's janitor and later a park keeper who appeared from seasons three to eight.
  • Mr. Brantley - the ice cream man who first appeared in season eight.
  • Mother Goose - an imaginary author of fairy tales and nursery rhymes who variously appears throughout the series.

See Also: Characters


Season Episodes Original airing (US dates)
Season premiere Season finale
  1 30 April 6, 1992 May 15, 1992
  2 18 September 27, 1993 October 20, 1993
  3 20 February 27, 1995 October 6, 1995
  4 20 November 3, 1997 November 28, 1997
  5 20 November 2, 1998 November 27, 1998
  6 20 November 1, 1999 April 14, 2000
  7 20 September 2, 2002 November 22, 2002
  8 20 September 15, 2003 May 14, 2004
  9 20 September 6, 2004 May 13, 2005
  10 20 September 18, 2006 October 13, 2006
  11 20 September 17, 2007 October 12, 2007
  12 10 September 15, 2008 September 26, 2008
  13 10 September 7, 2009 September 18, 2009
  14 20 October 4, 2010 November 2, 2010



Country Channel
Albania Bang Bang
Azerbaijan ANS TV
Brazil Discovery Kids, Rede Globo, TV Cultura, TV Brasil
Canada (English) Treehouse
Canada (French) TFO
Chile Chilevisión
Colombia Canal Capital, RCN Televisión, Señal Colombia, Teleantioquia
Costa Rica Canal 4, Canal 6, Canal 11
Ecuador Ecuavisa
El Salvador Canal 2
Germany RTL
Greece PIK 2
Italy Italia 1, JimJam
Japan Kids Station, Playhouse Disney
Latin America Claro TV, Discovery Kids, MGM Family, ZAZ
Mexico Azteca 7, Televisa
Middle East and North Africa SpaceToon
Peru TV Perú
Philippines RPN, ABS-CBN (season 8 only?), TV5 (Seasons 4-11), Playhouse Disney
Puerto Rico WAPA-TV
Spain Telecinco
Taiwan MOMO Kids, YoYo TV
Turkey Minika Çoncuk
United States PBS Kids, Sprout, Universal Kids
Venezuela Televen

International co-productions

Main Article: International Productions

Other than the United States, the series has aired in Canada, Mexico and Latin America, France, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan (On English-based DVDs under the name "Let's Play with Barney in English! (バーニーと英語であそぼう!, Bānī to Eigo de asobō!)" and on television as simply "Barney & Friends (バーニー&フレンズ, Bānī ando Furenzu!)" ), the Philippines, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Australian based company and distributor Southern Star handled non-US rights to the series from the mid-'90s until 2001 when HIT revoked the deal after acquiring Lyrick.

Two known co-productions of Barney & Friends have been produced outside of the US. The Israeli co-production Hebrew: החברים של ברני‎ Hachaverim shel Barney (The Friends of Barney) produced from 1997 to 1999 in Tel Aviv, Israel, was the first of these. Rather than dubbing the original American episodes from Seasons 1–3, the episodes were adapted with a unique set and exclusive child actors.[22] The film is also to be written by Lee Sung Jin. The second co-production was broadcast in South Korea from 2001 to 2003 on KBS (under the name "바니와 친구들" (Baniwa Chingudeul (Barney and Friends))). This one, however, adapted the first six seasons (including the first three that the Israel co-production did).


Seasons of Barney & Friends are available on a variety of streaming or direct purchase video services. The following is an overview of which seasons have been available to stream on streaming platforms.

Streaming service Country availability Content Launch date
Amazon Prime Video Worldwide
  • Seasons 8-13
July 29, 2016
FilmRise Streaming Network[23] Worldwide
  • Seasons 10-14
October 25, 2021
Kartoon Channel! Worldwide
  • Season 12
June 2022
Kidoodle.TV United States & United Kingdom
  • Season 11
September 23, 2021
Kikiriki Outside North America (as of 2021)
  • Season 14
Fall 2017
Netflix United States
  • Seasons 13-14
May 1, 2021[24][25]
OSN Middle East and North Africa
  • Seasons 11-13
August 19, 2021
Peacock United States
  • Seasons 10-12
October 29, 2021[26]
Pluto TV United States & Latin America
  • Seasons 10, 13 (LATAM)
  • Seasons 10-12 (US)
September 25, 2020 (LATAM)
January 20, 2022 (US)
The Roku Channel Worldwide
  • Seasons 7-14
March 24, 2021
Tubi Worldwide
  • Seasons 7-14
April 9, 2021
XUMO Worldwide
  • Seasons 10-12
August 10, 2021

Direct Purchase

Direct purchase service Country availability Content Launch date
Google Play Worldwide
  • Various episodes from seasons 8-12


Focus on Education

The show utilizes both original and children's songs to convey various preschool topics using imagination, engaging them with music and emphasizing friendship in a loving environment. Vice-President of Content Development, Mary Ann Dudko, Ph.D. states that "Each Barney episode emphasizes language and cognitive development, physical activity and social each episode, young viewers are invited to use their imaginations in problem-solving situations."

Yale researchers Dorothy and Jerome Singer concluded that episodes contain a great deal of age-appropriate educational material, calling the program a "model of what preschool television should be". Additionally, their research illustrates that Barney & Friends helps children be better prepared to enter a structured learning environment. The episodes have been described as "good examples" in dealing with pro-social behaviors and with emotion.


Stephen Baltes Bates and Philip Parker wrote the lyrics of the Barney & Friends theme song, with some lyrics coming from Barney & The Backyard Gang. The melody was taken from the tune "Yankee Doodle". The first three seasons of the show were arranged by Bob Singleton. From season four until season fourteen, Joseph Phillips arranged the music. The music for the series was prerecorded, while the dialogue was live when taping an episode. If there were one or two on camera children singing, it would be the actors themselves singing, and lip-syncing during filming. If there were three or more children singing at once, it would be a group of studio children singing.

Music played a prominent role in the show as ninety-two percent of the show's time was occupied by music.[27]


Barney & Friends has used many writers in its long history. During the production of season one, the series only used two writers, Stephen White and Mark S. Bernthal. White and Bernthal would be assigned a topic and write a first to final draft in a week or less. Both, as well as the future writers, were freelancers who worked from their homes, and had occasional meetings with the Barney producers. An educational packet would be given to White and Bernthal, which featured information from the researchers of the show, describing what the viewers could and couldn't understand, presentation, possible activities to include and some song choices. The writers would then be given a day to come up with an idea for an episode and make an outline. The outline included songs the writers selected, and activities that the episode would feature. When approved, the writers would take three days to write the first draft, another two for the second draft, and then a final day to turn in the finished script - and simultaneously pick up their next assignment.[28]

White was eventually promoted to head writer for a brief period, in which he wrote the Barney bible, a thick book that discussed the individual characters and how to write a script. The Barney bible was for the incoming writers to teach them what to do. One of the pages of the Barney bible was a collage of preschool children, in which the writers were reminded that the children were the audience for the show, and that the scripts should be specifically tailored for them.[29]

Newcomer Carter Crocker became head writer for the show, starting with season ten and until it ended with season fourteen. Starting with season eleven, writers were instructed to write "conflict based" episodes, rather than continuing the curriculum format from the previous seasons.[30]

U.S. Ratings

Barney & Friends debuted as the number one preschool show on public television.[31] In 1992, Barney and Friends drew an average of 1.7 million viewers daily. Nationally, among PBS children's shows, it was second only to Sesame Street. However, "Barney" viewership exceeded that of "Sesame Street" in many areas.[32] During the announcement of Barney's cancellation in 1993, PBS stations around the nation stated that Barney drew exceptional ratings, with 70 percent to 80 percent of viewers aged 2 to 5 in certain large markets.[33] The first season of Barney & Friends overtook the venerable Sesame Street in the Nielsen ratings of PBS children’s shows. On a typical day, some 3.4 million households were tuned into Barney & Friends while 2.8 million homes turned on Sesame Street.[34]


At the show's peak, in the 1996-1997 season, Barney was the No. 1 children's show on PBS with an average of 2.08 million preschool viewers, PBS said. However, it's slot was quickly taken away in March 1997 by Arthur,[9] due to many PBS stations placing the series on timeslots following Barney. By 1998, it was ranked down to third place, being beaten out by Arthur and Blue's Clues.[10] In September of that year, Barney & Friends took back the No. 1 spot as the most watched television program for ages two to five, having ten million viewers weekly.[11]

By April 2002, PBS, and Nielsen Ratings stated that the average rating for the show was 1.07 million, and was placed at the #6 spot [35] and by August, the show drew in a 6.6 rating among children ages 2 to 5, or 1,070,000 children, according to season-to-date figures, which was down a peak 13.2 rating, or 2,080,000 children, in the 1996-97 season.[36] Despite the show declining in ratings and popularity, the show consistently ranked among the top twenty among all children's programs, including broadcast and cable outlets in 2006.[37]

With its return to cable television in December 2018 on Universal Kids, Barney & Friends outperformed the network average by +50% for preschoolers. During its run, the series had the network's highest gross rating point among children two to five years old and ranked number two in women eighteen to forty-nine.[38]



The show has been the frequent subject of criticism, most notably for a supposed "lack of educational value", even despite several peer-reviewed studies saying otherwise.

Many families began to refuse to watch the show because of its supposed "one-dimensionality", and several YouTube videos have plush dolls of the character being either blown up or set on fire. Sources of hostility include episodes of the show that have since been removed from airing depicting Barney instructing children to talk to strangers (an episode that does not, in fact, exist at all).

Other sources of hostility include supposed episodes where the character instructs children to do other potentially "harmful" acts (that do not appear at all in the show), such as lying, cheating, stealing, and catching stinging insects (referring to the song Baby Bumblebee (which was no longer used after 1997)). Other reasons cited for the hostility also include Barney's voice (described by many adults as "dopey"), lack of varied facial expressions other than a toothy smile, and personality (described as being "self-centered"), as well as how the children in the series interact with the dinosaur characters.

One specific criticism is:

"[H]is shows do not assist children in learning to deal with negative feelings and emotions. As one commentator puts it, the real danger from Barney is denial: the refusal to recognize the existence of unpleasant realities. For along with his steady diet of giggles and unconditional love, Barney offers our children a one-dimensional world where everyone must be happy and everything must be resolved right away."

Additionally, the show is ranked #50 ranked on TV Guide's List of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time.

This criticism has led to several humorous attempts, dubbed "anti-Barney humor ", namely in the form of Internet videos, songs, Internet fiction, print media, and video games.

Cultural Impact

Children Empowerment

According to Dr. Gordon Berry, Professor of Educational Psychology at UCLA, he stated that "Barney empowers kids". During the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, it was reported that seventeen kindergartners were trapped in an elevator for five hours.[39] They remained calm by singing "I Love You". During that trauma, it was the voices of children singing the song that calmed the adults.[40] In that same year, 4-year-old girl says she alerted her family to a middle-of-the-night fire, due to what she learned when watching Barney & Friends.[41]

Stephen White, one of the main writers for the show, learned that a young girl urgently started singing the song he wrote "Buckle Up My Seatbelt", to her mother when she noticed her seatbelt wasn't buckled at a stopped intersection. Singing the song was the only way the child could convey the issue. The mother buckled the daughter's seatbelt but at the next intersection, a car ran the light and slammed into them. Police stated that the little girl would've died if her seatbelt wasn't buckled.[28]


The show has received recognition from public figures and celebrities. John Travolta and his children were huge fans of the show, with Travolta being in contact with the Lyons Group regularly. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, brought their kids to see Barney when the latter made an appearance at Universal Studios Hollywood.[42] The show has been referenced by celebrities, (starting within the 2010 decade) who grew up watching the show, who've recited fond memories of it. Kylie Jenner posted an Instagram story in February 2019 of her and her then one month old daughter, Stormi, watching the show on Universal Kids.[43]

Barney posing with Selena Gomez.
Child Stars

In the later years of Barney & Friends, the show was cited as a launching pad for child stars, similar to how The Mickey Mouse Club launched the careers of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. With Barney & Friends, young cast members, and parents often looked to Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Madison Pettis as role models who made a career after appearing on Barney & Friends at a young age.[44]


In 2017, Auli’i Cravalho, best known as the voice of Moana, stated that the first ever song she sang in public was "The Rainbow Song".[45] In February 2021, Mariah Carey and Cardi B had a one-on-one conversation for Interview magazine about their upbringing, with Cardi B citing that growing up as a child, she was only allowed to listen to Barney (and Disney) music due to her mother wanting her to stay young. At that age, it was the only music she was interested in.[46]

Artists have referenced the show in some of their songs such as Nicki Minaj referencing Baby Bop in her song "Stupid Hoe"[47] and Kanye West referencing Barney during his older childhood days in south side Chicago on the song "Jesus Lord".

Pop Culture

The character of Barney, and the show, have often been referenced and or mocked in popular films such as Jurassic Park III, Jersey Girl, and 8 Mile and television shows such as Animaniacs, The Simpsons, Family Matters, Fresh Off the Boat, and productions on Nickelodeon. Barney first reached official pop culture status when he was parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch in the fall of 1993. The Barney likeness played a game of one-on-one basketball against Phoenix Suns superstar Charles Barkley.[48]

See: Barney References in Popular Culture

Awards and nominations

Daytime Emmy Awards

Year Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
1993 Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series

Outstanding Children's Series

Stephen White
Mark S. Bernthal

Sheryl Leach (executive producer)
Kathy Parker (executive producer)
Dennis DeShazer (executive producer)



Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series

Outstanding Achievement in Live and Tape Sound Mixing and Sound Effects

Bruce Deck
Jim Rowley

Ron Balentine (production mixer)
David M. Boothe (audio director)

1996 Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series Dennis DeShazer (executive producer)
Sheryl Leach (executive producer)
Jim Rowley (senior producer)
Martha Lipscomb (producer)
Linda Houston (producer)
Jeff Gittle (producer)
1998 Outstanding Lighting Direction

Outstanding Sound Mixing

Ken Craig (lighting designer)

Murray K. Campbell (lighting director)

Ron Balentine (production mixer)

David M. Boothe (production mixer)

Gary French (re-recording mixer)

1999 Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series

Outstanding Live and Direct to Tape Sound Mixing

Steven Feldman

Fred Holmes
Jim Rowley

David M. Boothe (re-recording mixer) Gary French (re-recording mixer) Ron Balentine (production mixer)

2000 Outstanding Achievement in Live and Direct to Tape Sound Mixing Ron Balentine (production mixer)

David M. Boothe (re-recording mixer)
Gary French (re-recording mixer)

2001 Outstanding Achievement in Live and Direct to Tape Sound Mixing Ron Balentine (production mixer)

David M. Boothe (re-recording mixer)
Gary French (re-recording mixer)

Won (tied with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)
2003 Outstanding Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation Patrick Sellars (re-recording mixer)

Neal Anderson (re-recording mixer)

2006 Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series Fred Holmes (director)

Jim Rowley (director)

2008 Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling Lisa Odette Albertson (costume designer) Traci Hutton (costume stylist)

Lyle Huchton (wardrobe stylist)

2009 Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling Lisa Odette Albertson (costume designer) Traci Hutton (costume stylist)

Lyle Huchton (wardrobe stylist)


Other Media


Main Article: Barney Books

As early as spring 1993, Barney books were already on the mass market and were self-published through Barney Publishing. In that same year, some books made it onto the Publishers Weekly Bestselling List from 1992, with one book on the list passing a million units. All five of Barney's first books passed a million units as well.[49] Barney books were self published all the way until HIT Entertainment bought the franchise in 2001. From there, some books were re-released through Scholastic and HIT Entertainment.

In 1996, seven Barney books made it onto Publisher's Weekly All-Time Bestselling Hardcover Children's Books.[50] In 2001, five Barney books made it onto Publisher's Weekly All-Time Bestselling Children's Books list.[51] Over 80 million Barney books have been sold.[31]

Film adaptations

Offical Movie Poster.jpg
Poster to Barney's Great Adventure.

Barney's Great Adventure

Main Article: Barney's Great Adventure

Originally titled, Barney: The Movie, a film based on the television series was intended to be released theatrically by Warner Bros. and Geffen Pictures for summer 1995. Due to disagreements, the film became distributed by PoyGram, with a new (worldwide) release of April 3, 1998. It was filmed in Montreal, Canada , directed by Steve Gomer with the screenplay written by longtime series writer Stephen White. The film followed the title character, three children a on a chase for a magical egg. The film featured stars such as Shirley Douglas and George Hearn and child-stars such as Kyla Pratt and Trevor Morgan,

Untitled Barney film

Main Article: Untitled Barney film

On October 18, 2019, Mattel Films announced a collaboration with the production companies Valparaiso Pictures and 59% to develop a new Barney film. Mattel Films announced it would co-produce the film alongside Academy Award®-nominee Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Black Panther”), Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow at 59%, as well as Valparaiso's David Carrico, Adam Paulsen and Bobby Hoppey. Kevin McKeon will also shepherd the project for Mattel Films.[52] The film is also to be written by Lee Sung Jin.[53] During an interview with Entertainment Weekly on October 19, 2020, Kaluuya stated that his reason for wanting to do the film was based on "I Love You", a song that's sung at the end of every Barney episode, and was intrigued with the angle of a premise of when those words 'I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ aren't true.[54][55]

Home Media

Main Article: Barney Home Video

Live Events

Main Article: Barney Stage Shows

In 1994, a stage show Barney Live! At Radio City (released on video as Barney Live! In New York City) was performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The complete run of the show was the second fastest sell-out in Radio City history, after Bette Midler, as it had sold out performances.

Following the run at Radio City, the purple dinosaur went on national tours, starting with Barney's Big Surprise in 1996 up until 2011 in the US with Barney Live in Concert - Birthday Bash.

Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ at the Universal globe

Theme Park Attractions

Main Article: A Day in the Park with Barney

A Day in the Park with Barney, a stage show attraction based on the series opened on July 11, 1995 at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. The attraction faced temporary closure in August of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before finally closing permanently on January 1, 2021. It was replaced by DreamWorks Destination.

Main Article: Barney

Barney was the theme park attraction theme in Cred Street in the theme park of Alton Towers in Alton, Staffordshire, England. Three times a day, Barney and his friends, Baby Bop and BJ performed a live show at the theatre. It opened on April 1, 2000 closed in 2002, being replaced by Twennies in 2003.


In 1998, Barney brought in $750 million in retail sales of licensed merchandise, but the next year, the last year for which numbers are available, the total had fallen to $550 million, according to License! Magazine, a New York trade magazine.[35] As of 2001, the property that has sold US$3.5 billion in licensed merchandise, which at the time, it withstood the onslaught from newcomers in the preschool market, like Teletubbies and Blue’s Clues.[56]

Video Games

Throughout Barney's history, a small collection of video games have been available for purchase. The only game released on a mainstream video game console was "Barney's Hide and Seek Game". All the others were either released on PC or on V.Smile consoles.

Main Article: Barney Video Games


Main Article: Barney Discography

US Studio albums




When Barney & Friends was initially cancelled after the first season, commercial stations and networks approached The Lyons Group to propose an animated series of Barney & Friends for Saturday mornings. The Lyons Group consistently turned down offers with the company wanting to stay true to the live-action form of Barney & Friends.[57]


In November 1998, it was announced that BJ was going to have his own animated spin-off series titled BJ and the Radical Rumblebutts which would've been produced by Lyrick Studios and Toronto’s Portfolio Films.[58]

The project came into fruition after the success and acclaim earned by its previous preschool series Groundling Marsh, which aired on YTV in Canada for five years. The show's success caught the attention of Lyrick Studios. Lyrick was looking to acquire additional properties for home video sales and merchandising and approached Toronto-based Portfolio about the Groundling Marsh series. Lyrick had identified the opportunity to create a spin-off with the character BJ, with Tim Clott, who was CEO at the time, deciding that Toronto's Portfolio Films was best suited for the project.

The show was to be made on a budget of $400,000 per half-hour with the Canadian broadcaster being YTV. A broadcaster for the U.S. was yet to be determined. Lisa Olfman, founder of Toronto's Portfolio Films, mentioned that test marketing showed that boys lost interest in Barney & Friends by the age of four, but BJ had a strong following in young boys. Expected for a release in 2000, BJ was to be aged up for the show's target demographic.[59] The project didn't come to fruition, but scripts were written.


During the hiatus after season fourteen, a refresh was in discussions to explore where Barney lived, with Barney's land, which didn't go anywhere.[16]


On October 6, 2015, 9 Story Media Group announced a long-term partnership with HIT Entertainment, the now subsidiary of Mattel, to distribute preschool series Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina, as well as as relaunching both properties for a reboot that was slated to debut in 2017 with fifty-two eleven minute episodes (for both properties).[20] Production never occurred for either one of the properties. During Mattel's 2021 Virtual Analyst Day Presentation, Barney was included to be a "new series in development" by Mattel Television.[60]


  • Some episodes of the television series were encoded with signals that enabled the ActiMates Barney doll to interact with the program. During this time period, some reruns of Season 1-3 episodes removed the Barney Says segment to fit the program into the shortened time slot.
  • The Barney & Friends webpage was removed off of the main PBS Kids site around 2009, although the page is still up and running.
  • According to Pia Hamilton, a typical 30-minute episode took four days to complete. Rehearsals were normally on Mondays, and filming took place Tuesdays-Thursdays.


  1. Barney is far from extinct
  2. On the Barney Set 1999
  3. | HIT Entertainment - Our Brands - Barney
  5. What did Barney earn, and why didn’t PBS get more?
  6. The Fate of ‘Barney’ Dominates Discussion at PBS Meeting
  7. CPTV Celebrates 50 Years: Present at the Creation
  8. Barney returns to PBS, pulls pledge dollars
  9. 9.0 9.1 ‘Arthur’ Ever So Gently Climbs Past ‘Barney’
  10. 10.0 10.1 Move Over, Big Bird: A New Blue Dog's in Town - The New York Times
  11. 11.0 11.1 | BillBoard Home Video Merchants & Marketing
  13. Bob fixes Barney deal
  14. HIT Entertainment PLC History
  15. Will Barney be a T-Rex or a Dodo for HIT?
  16. 16.0 16.1 Talking Sets with Production Designer Bob Lavallee - Purple Tales Podcast Episode 12
  17. Barney goes global
  18. HIT & WNET Take Next Steps in Strategic Alliance
  19. Mattel Announces Acquistion of HiT Entertainment
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mattel Inc Together With 9 Story Announce New Partnership To Relaunch Iconic Pre-School Brands ‘Barney & Friends’ And ‘Angelina Ballerina’
  21. 21.0 21.1 PBS Caregiver Guide
  22. | The purple dinosaur arrives in Israel
  23. | FilmRise acquires children’s shows including Barney & Friends, Angelina Ballerina
  24. Netflix May 2021 Movie and TV Titles Announced
  25. What’s Coming to Netflix in May 2021
  26. | Carbon Dating The Web
  27. | The Use of Music on Barney & Friends: Implications for Music Therapy Practice and Research
  28. 28.0 28.1 | INTERVIEW: Stephen White - Writer from Barney & Friends
  29. | The Words of Barney with Head Writer Steve White - Purple Tales Podcast Episode 5
  30. Barney & Friends 2002 - Photo Tour of Interior/Caboose Set
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Barney and Friends": An Evaluation of the Literacy Learning Environment Created by the TV Series for Children.
  34. | Experts Ponder Academic Value of ‘Barney’
  35. 35.0 35.1 | Advertising; Barney's Image Gets Makeover For New Crop Of Toddlers
  36. | TThey’re Not Just Playing Around
  37. | Barney is back, and he's bringing another dino pal
  38. PROJECT - Barney
  39. | LOL What's So Good About "Barney"?
  42. | Barney now a Polygramosaurus
  43. | 'I Love You!' Kylie Jenner's Daughter Stormi Watches Barney for the First Time: 'She Loves It'
  44. | Dallas' “Barney” Becoming Pop Stardom Stepping Stone
  45. | The First Song Auli'i Cravalho Ever Sang in Public Was 'The Rainbow Song' From Barney!
  46. | Cardi B tells Mariah Carey she grew up listening to ‘Barney and Disney music’
  47. | Nicki Minaj – ‘Stupid Hoe’
  48. CPTV Guide Connecticut Magazine June 2013
  49. | Barney and Sheryl Leach makes an appearance at National Press Club!💜💚💛 | Happy New Year! | SUBSCRIBE
  50. | All-Time Bestselling Hardcover Children's Books
  51. | All-Time Bestselling Children's Books
  53. | Lee Sung Jin and the Octopus
  54. | Daniel Kaluuya takes on a revolution in Judas and the Black Messiah
  55. | Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya on the Black Panthers and Barney the Dinosaur
  56. | HIT buys U.S. retail entrée with Lyrick pick-up
  58. New development mandate at Lyrick
  59. | Portfolio’s Radical BJ
  60. 2021 Mattel (Virtual) Analyst Day Presentation | Barbie, Monster High, Polly Pocket | Dolls Category
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