Janice Burgess, Creator of ‘The Backyardigans,’ Dies at 72

The Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. executive also worked on “Blue’s Clues,” “Little Bill” and “Winx Club”

Janice Burgess
"The Backyardigans" creator Janice Burgess (Credit: YouTube)

Janice Burgess, the Nickelodeon executive who created “The Backyardigans,” has died. She was 72.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of the great architects of Nick Jr. and creator of the globally beloved series, ‘The Backyardigans,’” Nickelodeon shared in a statement on Tuesday. “Janice Burgess was one of the greats — inherently creative and kind, and dedicated to the preschool audience everywhere.”

According to Nick Jr. creator Brown Johnson, Burgess died Saturday in Manhattan following time in hospice care due to breast cancer.

Burgess also worked on “Blue’s Clues,” “Little Bill” and “Winx Club” during her time in children’s programming. She joined the network in 1995 as executive-in-charge of production before later becoming vice president of Nick Jr.

“The Backyardigans” ran for 80 episodes across four seasons from 2004-13. It was nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards, with Burgess herself winning for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2008.

The New York Times was first to report the news of her death.


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