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Newest dinosaur Riff to jazz up Barney

June 20, 2006 at 3:18 PM

WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Barney's producers are adding a new Riff to bring multicultural music, including Latin, reggae, classical and country to children's programming on PBS.

The big purple dinosaur, who has been entertaining kids on Public Broadcasting Service for 14 years, needed a push out of the musical prehistoric age. And the new orange-and-yellow hadrosaur named Riff will give Barney a whole new act, New York Daily News reported.

Riff, who debuts on the new season of "Barney & Friends" on Sept. 18, is a cousin of dinosaurs Baby Bop and BJ. He will make his own instruments and teach preschoolers musical concepts, such as rhythm, volume and tempo.

Riff has a crest on the top of his head that lights up in colors whenever he plays music. He also makes hip remarks like, "Tippity-top!"

"The world is becoming more diverse, and children are exposed to many forms of music at a young age," said Jamie Cygielman, senior vice president of consumer products for Barney's producer HIT Entertainment.

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