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Janice Burgess, the Creator of 'The Backyardigans' Has Sadly Passed Away at the Age of 72


Janice Burgess, a black woman, made significant contributions to children's television as the creator of 'The Backyardigans.' Despite her groundbreaking work in the industry, it is unfortunate that her achievements are often only recognized after her passing. Burgess passed away at the age of 72, leaving behind a legacy in children's TV that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.


Burgess's journey in television began in Pittsburgh, where she honed her skills at WQED TV station before moving on to work on influential shows like '3-2-1 Contact' and 'Ghostwriter' at Children's Television Workshop. Her time at Nickelodeon as an executive in charge of production for Nick Jr. allowed her to oversee the creation of iconic shows such as 'Blue's Clues,' 'Allegra's Window,' and 'Gullah Gullah Island.' However, it was her creative vision that truly shone through with the development of 'The Backyardigans.'


'The Backyardigans' was a groundbreaking show that combined music, dance, and imaginative storytelling to create a unique viewing experience for children. Burgess's ability to re-imagine a concept for animation led to the creation of a series that was not only entertaining but also educational. The show featured a diverse cast of characters and explored themes of friendship, creativity, and problem-solving, resonating with audiences of all ages.


Despite her significant contributions to children's television, Burgess's passing serves as a reminder of the importance of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of black women in the industry. It is unfortunate that it often takes the loss of a trailblazer for their work to be fully appreciated. As we reflect on Burgess's legacy, we must continue to uplift and support black creators in children's TV and beyond.


Janice Burgess's impact on children's television cannot be understated. Her creative vision and innovative storytelling have left a lasting impression on audiences around the world. As we mourn her passing, let us also celebrate her legacy and continue to champion diversity and representation in the industry. Janice Burgess may no longer be with us, but her contributions to children's TV will live on for generations to come.


Sleep well Queen.

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