You don't have to be a purple dinosaur to realize that kids are keen on entertainment programs. Anyone familiar with the laws of the TV jungle, however, knows phenomena of Barneyesque proportions are a rare breed.
But this isn't scaring off the powers behind "Jelly Bean Jungle" (JBJ). First telecast last September, the show-which combines live-action performers with puppets and costumed characters-is generating some big-time buzz. It's enough to make you wonder if Jessica the Giraffe, Gus the Gorilla, Al the Alligator and King Rufus the Lion will one day be as familiar to the tot brigade as, well, you-know-who.
"We certainly hope [the show] will be the next Barney," enthuses Laura King, vice president of Sunshine KidVid Entertainment, the Hollywood, Florida, company producing "JBJ." "We think it has the potential."
They're not alone. Airing on some 100 TV stations nationwide, "JBJ" is also being syndicated internationally. And ERTL Toys has acquired a master license for "JBJ" toys. There's also talk of video and CD-ROM tie-ins.
Jungle fever . . . it seems to be catching.