I don’t know that there was a real person whom I never actually met who had more of an effect on my development than Fred Rogers; so while it’s obviously not “aimed” anywhere near me (which is as it should be) I’m curious to see where/how this works out: PBS has announced the development of a spin-off “sequel” series to “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” – the first new series to be produced by the Fred Rogers Company since Rogers himself passed away a decade ago.
The new series is animated, and will be called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The premise is that the “Land of Make-Believe” puppet characters from the original series have since grown up and now have children of their own; with the “Daniel” of the title being the four year-old son of the original Daniel Striped Tiger (Rogers’ “first” puppet). The first production still from the series appears to show the character (will he have his father’s watch?) in what looks like an animated version of the original series’ house set – traffic light, fish tank and Trolley all accounted for.
I feel like someone should say something snarky about the idea of even Mister Rogers now having continuity… but the words won’t come. I’ll say this: Children’s entertainment needs Mister Rogers’ influence now more than ever; and if the people behind this intend on continuing in his spirit then I wish them all the luck in the world. And, since I can’t post this often enough – here’s Fred Rogers himself testifying on behalf of keeping Public Broadcasting funded before Congress. I suggest sending it along to your Congressman: