'Barney' Franchise Getting New Series

Barney the purple dinosaur is making a comeback. Mattel announced plans to relaunch the Barney franchise, including a new animated series to introduce the character and his friends to a new generation of children. The original Barney & Friends series ended in November 2010 after over 260 episodes were produced.

The new Barney franchise will "span television, film, and YouTube content as well as music and a full range of kids' products including toys, books, clothing, and more," Mattel teased on Monday. The company added that there will be accessories for adult fans in the future, cashing in on Millennial nostalgia for the show they watched as kids. The animated series will debut globally in 2024 and is targeted at preschool children. Corus Entertainment's Nelvana will co-produce the series with Mattel Television. Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy, and Pam Westman for Nelvana serve as executive producers.

(Photo: Business Wire/Mattel)

"Barney's message of love and kindness has stood the test of time," Josh Silverman, Chief Franchise Officer and Global Head of Consumer Products at Mattel, said in a statement. "We will tap into the nostalgia of the generations who grew up with Barney, now parents themselves, and introduce the iconic purple dinosaur to a new generation of kids and families around the world across content, products, and experiences."

"In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it," Fred Soulie, SVP and General Manager of Mattel Television, added. "With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too."

Barney & Friends was created by Sheryl Leach and written for preschoolers. It launched on PBS in April 1992 and concluded in November 2010. Although the show was incredibly popular with children, adults often mocked Barney and his friends for their unwavering optimism. The hatred of Barney was even the subject of a Peacock documentary, I Love You, You Hate Me.

This is the second time Mattel has announced plans to revive Barney. In 2015, the company announced a collaboration with 9 Story Media Group, but nothing came of it. This latest attempt follows Mattel's popular revivals of Monster High and Masters of the Universe. The toy brand is also developing films based on Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, and Major Matt Mason franchises.