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Made in Texas: How a Texas school teacher brought dinosaur sensation Barney to life

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(Barney - Youtube)

HOUSTONWelcome to Made in Texas, where we write about products made in the Lone Star State.

Today, we’re featuring the iconic kid’s program that captivated pre-schoolers and toddlers around the country, Barney & Friends.

The program

Barney & Friends was an American children’s educational program that featured singing and dancing lead by a purple Tyrannosaurus rex named Barney, who came to life through a child’s imagination, according to PBS Hawaii.

The dinosaur sensation was accompanied by his dinosaur friends Baby Bop, B.J., Riff and a diverse cast of children. Stars like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, started their career’s in the popular children’s TV series, according to BuzzFeed.

The program’s creator and the idea behind it

Former Dallas school teacher and marketing executive Sheryl Leach created Barney for her 2-year-old son after she noticed a lack of shows aimed at toddlers and her son’s fascination with dinosaurs, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Leach was stuck in traffic one day when she came up with the idea of creating a video that might keep her son entertained. She and two of her executive partners, Dennis DeShazer and Kathy Parker, filmed a home-video series in Dallas they called “Barney & the Backyard Gang," which they began selling at video stores in 1987, according to The New York Times.

The show’s popularity grew after its first TV episode was broadcasted through PBS on Apr. 8, 1992.

The Texas-based program ran until 2010 but full episodes are still available on Youtube.


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