Warner Bros. Discovery picked up CG-animated series “Barney’s World,” featuring new adventures of the enduring purple dinosaur and his pals, set to bow on the Max streaming service and Cartoon Network in 2024.
The series, announced earlier this year as part of Mattel’s Barney franchise relaunch, will “revamp the iconic character for modern audiences,” according to WBD. The series is co-produced by Mattel Television and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana.
Barney is the beloved children’s character who captured the hearts of millions of children — before he became a target of pop-culture vitriol, as explored in Peacock’s 2022 docuseries “I Love You, You Hate Me.” The original live-action “Barney & Friends” debuted on PBS stations in 1992 and ran through 2010.
“Barney’s World” is “modernized with dynamic characters and music-filled storylines that highlight themes of love, community and encouragement,” WBD and Mattel TV said. Set in a local playground, Barney is joined by dinos Billy and Baby Bop and their three kid best friends. “Throughout silly and imaginative adventures together, Barney helps kids explore big preschool emotions and shows them how to love themselves and others,” the companies said in announcing the series pickup.
“Barney’s World” perfectly exemplifies our ‘best in animation’ approach. It strikes the right nostalgia chord for today’s parents and introduces this iconic dinosaur to a new generation of preschoolers,” said Warner Bros. Discovery’s Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family and Boomerang.
Fred Soulie, SVP and GM of Mattel Television, added: “Having grown up watching the original series, many of today’s parents have fond memories of laughing, singing and learning with Barney and his friends. We are proud to partner with Warner Bros. Discovery to reimagine this famed brand and bring a fresh and modern version of Barney to a global audience of families.”
“Barney’s World” will be executive produced by Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and by Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy and Pam Westman for Nelvana.
Along with delivering the Barney toys and the TV series, Mattel in February announced plans to expand the franchise into film and YouTube content as well as music and a full range of kids’ products including books and clothing. Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development.
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