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Barney & Friends Family Marathon (originally titled "Barney & Friends Live Marathon") was an event which aired on PBS stations across the United States and Canada in March 1993.

History

After PBS decided to cancel Barney & Friends, members of local PBS stations across the US and Canada called to object. 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 where Barney, along with Tina (Jessica Zucha), Derek (Rickey Carter), and then-CPTV spokeswoman Patrice Pascual, would host a marathon of Barney & Friends episodes leading up to the television premiere of Barney in Concert.

Event

The marathon was similar to previous PBS pledge drives, but differed in that only Barney & Friends episodes were aired, and Barney merchandise was offered as thank-you gifts for contributions. Filmed at CPTV, Barney, Patrice Pascual, Derek, and Tina would host wraparound segments, discussing the various episodes being shown and participating in related activities while hinting at the show's then-upcoming second season. Pascual would also encourage adult viewers to make a pledge to their PBS station. At various points during the marathon, Barney would appear in ads also encouraging viewers to pledge.

Episodes featured

  1. Happy Birthday, Barney!
  2. 1-2-3-4-5 Senses!
  3. My Family's Just Right For Me
  4. Let's Help Mother Goose!
  5. Carnival of Numbers

Controversy

Some parents and members were offended by the use of Barney merchandise, such as plush toys and videos as recognition gifts. They saw the use of them as a commercial rather than a sign of recognition for devotion to trustworthy PBS programming.

Trivia

  • When Barney, Tina, and Derek tease the (then upcoming) events of Season 2, Barney also teases the fact that there would be a new friend for everyone to meet. In hindsight, the new friend Barney talked about would later be revealed to be Baby Bop's big brother, BJ.
  • According to Sheryl Leach, as a result of the marathon, Barney & Friends brought in two-thirds of PBS' total pledge revenue ($6.2 million) for March 1993.

Promotional Video

Barney_&_Friends_Family_Marathon_Promo

Barney & Friends Family Marathon Promo

References

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