Barney is a purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus Rex who conveys educational messages through songs and small dance routines with a friendly, optimistic attitude. Barney was created in 1987 by Sheryl Leach of Dallas, Texas. She came up with the idea for the program while considering TV shows that she felt would be educational and appeal to her son. Leach then brought together a team who created a series of home videos, Barney and the Backyard Gang, which also starred actress Sandy Duncan in the first three videos. Later, Barney was joined by the characters Baby Bop, B.J., and Riff.

    Although the original videos were only a modest success outside of Texas, Barney became a major success when the character and format were revamped for the television series and were picked up by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), debuting as Barney and Friends in 1992. The series was produced by Lyrick Studios (bought by HIT Entertainment) and Connecticut Public Television. For several years, the show was taped at the Color Dynamics Studios facility at Greenville Avenue & Bethany Drive in Allen, after which it moved to The Studios at Las Colinas in Dallas, Texas, and then Carrollton, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The TV series and videos are currently distributed by Hit Entertainment and Lionsgate, while the TV series was produced by WNET from 2006 to 2009. Sheryl Leach left the show in 2002 after HiT Entertainment bought Lyrick Studios. Also around this time. The re-launch of the series also launched the careers of Teen megastars and longtime best friends Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez who appeared in the series as Angela and Gianna respectively