“You don’t want to continue doing the same things over and over. You want to keep it fresh,” said Barnes, in her second year with the program. “I think a show that’s been on this long, it’s important that we add new elements.”
The people who produce the show appear blissfully unaware that not everyone finds the dinosaur “tee-rific!”
The show emphasizes age-appropriate material such as sharing and caring for others, and the new character, Riff, will introduce music from around the world to the preschooler audience. The sounds will draw from diverse influences, including Latin, classical, country, jazz and rock.
HIT Entertainment acquired the company that produces “Barney,” Allen-based Lyrick Studios, in 2001 for $275 million.
“I’m a firm believer that if you can imagine it, it will happen, so this fits for me, this job,” Wendt said.
Mary Ann Dudko, HIT’s vice president for content development, acts as the principal advocate for young children for the telecast. She calls the show’s educational value the best on TV and cites supportive studies conducted by Yale researchers Jerome and Dorothy Singer.
“The interaction with the kids is just priceless,” said Wendt.
He and Stinson work so closely together that they can engage in impromptu conversation with a visitor — as Barney — without missing a beat.
Riff is also featured in a new direct-to-DVD release and will join the cast this fall in “Barney Live! The Let’s Go Tour!”
Big purple one welcomes tiny orange Riff for 13th season on PBS