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The first season of the American live-action educational children's television series, Barney & Friends, created by Sheryl Leach and co-created by Kathy Parker and Dennis DeShazer, was premiered on PBS from April 6 to May 15, 1992, and consisted of 30 episodes. Succeeding the home video series, Barney & The Backyard Gang, this season features Barney, with characters from the home video series such as Baby Bop, a diverse cast of kids, including Derek, Michael, Tina, and Luci, and introduces new kids - Min, Kathy, Shawn, and Tosha.

Based off its predecessor, this season displays Barney, who comes to life through a child's imagination, whenever he is needed for something, helping his friends through educational themes tailored for toddlers, which is the viewing audience. Unlike the home video series, that took place in various settings, the show takes place at a school classroom and playground, which is where the children characters attend during the day.

With a total of thirty episodes, this was the longest season to date.

This season had two albums released with a few songs taken from various episodes, under the titles of Barney's Favorites, Volume 1 and Barney's Favorites, Volume 2, released in 1993 and 1994 respectively.


The beginnings to the start of Barney & Friends dates back to the show's predecessor, Barney & The Backyard Gang, which was a home video series.


A promotional advertisement for Barney & Friends premiering on PBS.

On Super Bowl Sunday in 1991, executive vice president of programming for Connecticut Public Television,[1] Larry Rifkin, rented the Barney video, A Day at the Beach, for his 4-year-old daughter Leora Rifkin,[2] which they got from Prospect Video Store, in Prospect, Connecticut.[3] Once they got home, his daughter couldn't stop watching the video. Rifkin tested the video on other children in the neighborhood to make sure the reaction wasn't unusual. Rifkin liked the concept, so he spoke with Leach and other creators about putting Barney on television. At the time, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting had been looking for something new, educational and lively to supplement the programs that were already on television.[4]

In June of 1991, it was announced that Barney would have a new show debuting on PBS with a scheduled release for April 1992 with thirty episodes.[5] A $2.25 million grant was given to The Lyons Group and Connecticut Public Television to produce the new show. One of the changes announced for the show was dropping the word "gang" due to it having negative connotations.[5] In October of that year, production began on the new television show, titled Barney & Friends and ended in-between March and April 1992.



A majority of the main cast members from Barney & The Backyard Gang returned to portray their characters in the successor series. Cast members such as Becky Swonke (Amy), Alexander Jhin (Adam), and Dao Knight (Baby Bop's costume performer) did not return. Becky Swonke left the series due to an illness, Alexander Jhin left the series due to moving out of the Texas area, and Sandy Duncan was invited to return to the franchise for Barney & Friends, but she declined.[6] Although this was Lauren King (Kathy)'s first season appearance as her respective character, Kathy had been introduced in Rock with Barney.

Bob West, the voice of Barney, left production during this season due to having laryngitis while doing Barney's voice. So, Jeff Gittle took over the role. Soon, Bob West returned to dub over Jeff Gittle's lines.


Around thirty writers were interviewed to writer for the series. Freelance writers Stephen White and Mark S. Bernthal were the only two hired for the position on an account of they didn't ask how much the job paid for. Both would each be assigned a topic and have to go from first draft to final draft in a week or less. Both writers worked from home but had meetings with the producers of the show. When given a topic, the writers were given an educational packet (usually about two pages) with information from the show's primary researchers, Mary Ann Dudko and Margie Larsen. The sheets would describe what young viewers could and couldn't understand, clear methods of presentation, suggestions about possible classroom-style activities, and possible song choices. The writers would have a day to come up with an idea for the show and make an outline. The outline contained the song choices and activities for an episode. If and when approved, the writers would then take about 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.[7]


In weeks following the season finale, PBS announced that they were cancelling Barney & Friends. After many calls and letters from parents, PBS repealed their decision and held pledge drives to help fund another season.

See: Cancellation


Season 1

The cast of the first season of Barney & Friends.


Promotional photo of Barney and the kids.



Guest appearances[]


# Episode Written By Directed By New Barney Songs Original Airdate
"The Queen Of Make-Believe"
The Queen of Make-Believe
Stephen White Jim Rowley "The Barney Bag", "Animal Parade" April 6, 1992
Min pretends to be the Queen of Make-Believe and wishes for a day of fun. From a tea party to a animal parade, Barney shows the kids that imagination can make any day more fun.
"My Family's Just Right For Me"
A Scene from My Family's Just Right for Me
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Family in the Dell", "Hush Little Teddy", "Riding in the Car", "The Sister Song", "Where is Family?", "My Family's Just Right For Me" April 7, 1992
With the school's 'Family Night' fast approaching, the kids are excited to show Barney all the fun activities that are planned. But when Kathy feels that her family is too small, Barney reassures her that size doesn't matter when it comes to family, only the love they share together.
"Playing It Safe"
Playing it Safe
Stephen White Jim Rowley "The Traffic Light Song", "Buckle Up My Seatbelt", "Walk Across the Street", "The Stranger Song" April 8, 1992
Officer Barney helps the kids learn about important safety rules. The kids perform 'Little Red Riding Hood' to teach Baby Bop about strangers.
"Hop To It!"
Barney hop to it
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "Tina's Sad Song", "Our Friend Barney", "The Clapping Song", "The Exercise Song", "Move Your Body", "Shape Up Freeze", "Animals in Motion" April 9, 1992
Tina is sad because she can't do a basketball trick that her sister Luci can. Throughout the day of fun exercise routines and games, Barney shows Tina that she can do lots of exercises by herself.
"Eat, Drink And Be Healthy!"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Mish Mash Soup", "The Milk Song", "Snackin' on Healthy Food" April 10, 1992
After Shawn decides to give his carrots away to his friends, Barney talks to him about the importance of healthy food. Luci tells a story about a boy who ate only noodles. A discussion of the different food groups and a sing along by James Turner leads Shawn to trying carrots.
"Four Seasons Day"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Four Seasons Day", "If It Never Ever Rained Again", "The Fall Song" April 13, 1992
Barney informs the children that it is 'Four Seasons Day': a make-believe special day in which weather from all four seasons appears all in one day. Barney and the kids discuss the different changes that occur throughout each of the four seasons.
"The Treasure Of Rainbow Beard"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Painting the Shapes", "The Rainbow Song" April 14, 1992
A secret treasure map leads Barney and his friends to search for Rainbow Beard's treasure. The clues throughout the map have the kids search for different colors and shapes on the playground and in the classroom.
"Going Places!"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Airplane Song" April 15, 1992
Barney takes the kids on a pretend airplane trip to "Imagination City". While there, Barney and his friends explore different transportation methods.
"Caring Means Sharing"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Taking Turns" April 16, 1992
After Min and Kathy fight over who gets to play with Barney, Barney teaches them that sharing is the best way to have fun.
"Down On Barney's Farm"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley April 17, 1992
After painting farm animals at school, the kids wish that they could see some real farm animals. So, Barney brings them to a make-believe farm, where his friend Farmer Henderson brings his own farm animals.
"What's That Shadow?"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Shadow Song", "I Used to Be Afraid" April 20, 1992
A thunderstorm at the school leads the kids to talk about things that scare them. By making silly monster masks and telling stories, the kids soon learn that the things that scare them aren't really that scary.
"Happy Birthday, Barney!"
Happy Birthday Barney
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Growing", "Frosting the Cake" April 21, 1992
It's Barney's birthday, and the kids are throwing him a special party. Kathy can't decide on what to give to Barney, so she gives him her special teddy. Barney explains to her that the gift of love is the best birthday present of all. All of Barney's friends drop by to celebrate his special day.
"Alphabet Soup!"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The N Game", "Alphabet Soup" April 22, 1992
Derek has a special mystery word for his friends to figure out. The kids play games and sing songs that are related to each letter of the mystery word.
"Our Earth, Our Home"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "Brushing My Teeth", "Simple and Beautiful a Rainbow" April 23, 1992
A day of cleaning up the playground leads to a discussion about the ways people can protect the earth.
"Let's Help Mother Goose!"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Mother Goose, Please Appear", "I'm Mother Goose" April 24, 1992
After a bookworm eats pages from Mother Goose's book, Barney and his friends help recite their favorite Mother Goose rhymes to help her rewrite the book.
"Be A Friend"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Friendship Song" April 27, 1992
New student Tosha is feeling sad because she doesn't have any friends. After Barney introduces her to some of his friends, the kids think of activities that friends can do together. Meanwhile, Derek and Michael fight over who gets to keep a special picture that they both collaborated on.
""I Just Love Bugs""
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Twinkle Little Lightning Bug" April 28, 1992
Tina's fascination with insects leads the kids to explore the different types of bugs that inhabit the planet. The kids make some special spiderweb pictures, and Barney reveals his favorite bug.
"When I Grow Up..."
Stephen White Jim Rowley "The Career March", "When I Grow Up", "People Helping Other People", "The Waitress Song" April 29, 1992
The kids are pretending to be grown-ups with their own careers. However, Shawn is upset because he doesn't want to grow up. Barney shows Shawn and his friends all sorts of different, exciting careers.
"1-2-3-4-5 Senses!"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Five Senses Song" April 30, 1992
Luci introduces her blind-friend Patty to Barney and the other kids. Barney provides the kids with special activities to help them discover how each of our five senses help us view the world.
"Practice Makes Music"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "The Marching Song" May 1, 1992
Michael is nervous because he has to play 'London Bridge' on his cello at a school concert and has been unsuccessful. Barney's friend Greg Murray comes by to play the piano and explain that making music takes a lot of practice. From a marching band to dancing to different types of music, everyone discovers the delights of music.
"Hi, Neighbor!"
Stephen White Bruce Deck "Lookin' Round My Neighborhood" May 4, 1992
The kids are pretending to be explorers, wishing that they could go to a faraway place. Barney explains to them that they can explore their very own neighborhood. The kids decide to set up their favorite place in the neighborhood.
"A Camping We Will Go!"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "We Like Rocks", "Scary Stories" May 5, 1992
Barney takes his friends on a make-believe camping trip. On the trip, everyone discusses about their favorite things to do while camping. Luci tells a scary, silly story.
"A Splash Party, Please"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "Swingin' up to the Stars", "Please and Thank You", "Splashin' in the Bath" May 6, 1992
An afternoon picnic provides the perfect opportunity for Barney to teach the kids all about manners. After the picnic, Barney has some special water activities for his friends.
"Carnival Of Numbers"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "Carnival Of Numbers", "Number Limbo" May 7, 1992
Barney transforms the playground and classroom into a carnival, filled with games and rides that utilize numbers.
"A World Of Music"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley May 8, 1992
Barney takes his friends around the world to meet some of his friends and hear the country's music.
"Doctor Barney Is Here!"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "The Doctor is a Friend of Mine", "The Sleep Song" May 11, 1992
Kathy is sad because she is afraid of going to the doctor. Doctor Barney takes her through a make-believe doctor check-up to show her that the going to the doctor is easy. The kids also discuss different ways to stay healthy.
"Oh, What A Day!"
Mark S. Bernthal Jim Rowley "This Is Not My Day", "Pretty Kitty Blues", "It's OK to Cry", "When I Get Mad" May 12, 1992
After losing her family's cat, Tina is having a terrible day. Barney explains to the kids how to deal with negative emotions and how to brighten any terrible situation.
"Home Sweet Homes"
Stephen White Jim Rowley "That's a Home to Me", "If I Lived Under the Sea" May 13, 1992
With some help from pictures drawn by other students, Barney and his friends discuss the different types of homes for people and animals. The kids perform a play of the 'Three Little Pigs'.
"Hola, Mexico!"
Mark S. Bernthal Bruce Deck "The Fiesta Song", "A La Derecha", "Tortilla Song", "Piñata Song" May 14, 1992
Luci is sad because she missed her grandfather's birthday fiesta. So, Barney and the kids throw a fiesta of their own, filled with special Mexican traditions.
"Everyone Is Special"
Stephen White Jim Rowley May 15, 1992
Through the help of his special surprise package, Barney shows his friends that each one of them is special in many different ways.



Barney and Dennis DeShazer on the set of the first season during filming.

U.S. Ratings[]


Barney operates the camera on set.

Three months after Barney & Friends debuted, the national audience for the show was measured by Nielsen at 1.84 million homes. By comparison, the audience for Sesame Street, the long-running series for children's programming on PBS, was 1.29 million homes.[8]

During 1992, Barney & 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.[9] This season of Barney & Friends overtook 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.[10]

Home media[]

A majority of this season (twenty episodes) was released on VHS by Time Life Video, but six episodes of this season were not released on video at all. Notable VHS releases not released by Time Life Video include re-titled episodes such as Barney's Birthday, Barney's Best Manners, Barney Rhymes with Mother Goose, Barney's Home Sweet Homes. The episode, Down on Barney's Farm, had the same title on home video and was released in later years.



Photo shoots[]


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Original concept art design of design for the schoolyard tree by Jess Nelson.

  • This season marks:
  • This season was taped at the same studio where the Backyard Gang videos were filmed.
  • This was one of two seasons that was closed-captioned by the National Captioning Institute.
  • In this season, Brian Eppes (Michael) and Pia Hamilton (Min) did the funding for the show.


  • This season marks:
  • Unlike previous appearances, Derek starts wearing glasses in this season.
  • The earliest scripts for season one had to be reworked before shooting because besides Barney and Baby Bop there were three other costumed characters who were supposed to be in the show: a calypso-singing chicken, a country cow, and a frog styled after the 50's rocker "The Big Bopper." Because of production challenges, those characters were changed into puppets, then dropped entirely before shooting began.[7] However, those characters can be seen as toys in Imagination Island.
  • Much of the cast (from this season) continued their role in other seasons, but only in the first two future seasons.
    • Shawn, Min, Kathy, and Tosha were the four members from this season to appear in all three of the first three seasons.
    • Tina, Michael, and Derek (from the Backyard Gang series) only appeared in the first future season (Season 2).
    • In Season 4 and onward, entirely new unique kids were introduced (replacing the cast members from Backyard Gang and the first season, as well as the newcomers introduced in Seasons 2 and 3).


Home media[]

TV spot[]