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Janice Burgess

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Janice Burgess, the creator of the popular children’s show “The Backyardigans,” has died at the age of 72. Her passing was confirmed by “Gullah Gullah Island” writer Fracaswell Hyman in a heartfelt social media post.


Hyman remembered Burgess as more than just an executive, describing her as having “acid-tongued wit, flowing Hermes scarves, and omnipresent cigarettes.” He also mentions how she went beyond her role to become a supportive friend and mentor, recognizing his talents and ensuring his consideration for various projects.

Burgess was known for her work as an executive in charge of production for Nick Jr., overseeing the development of shows like “Blue’s Clues” and “Little Bill.” She later became the vice president of Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. division.

The Backyardigans,” which Burgess served as executive producer for its four-season run, received critical acclaim and numerous awards. Burgess won eight Daytime Emmy Award nominations and the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program.

In 2006, Janice Burgess said, “making ‘The Backyardigans’ has become sort of like an adventure that I go on with my friends. Of course, we get paid, but we do get to be carefree in our work, enjoy each other, hang around a lot, travel a little bit, and make up stuff.”

Beyond “The Backyardigans,” Burgess’s influence extended to other projects, including her work as a writer, story editor, and creative consultant on the action-adventure series “Winx Club.”

Janice Burgess’ contributions to children’s entertainment will be remembered, and her legacy will continue through the impact of “The Backyardigans” and other beloved shows.

Janice Burgess, Creator of The Backyardigans, Dies at 72  was originally published on

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