The classic kids TV series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is getting a 21st Century overhaul, the PBS announced Sunday.
The new series, titled Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood , will incorporate the original “Mister Rogers” characters as adults with young kids of their own living in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
While the original Rogers series could be enjoyed by a wide range of different aged viewers, the new version primarily targets preschoolers.
“You could watch ‘Mister Rogers’ if you were 4 and you could watch ‘Mister Rogers’ if you were 12 and you could get different things out of the program. That was one of its great strengths, and obviously in the context of that time when there weren’t many children’s programs, that was an important strength,” Kevin Morrison, the Chief Operating Officer of the Fred Rogers Company who is also executive producing the new series explained in a recent interview.
“There are no longer three TV channels a child can watch after school; there are 300… It’s now structured so that there are programs that specifically target boys who are 9 and boys who are 12 and so on.”
Even though the characters and targeted age group for the upcoming series is different, Morrison says there is one thing that the spin-off will never change: instilling a sense of curiosity in young viewers about the world around them.
“The huge thing [Rogers] had which nobody else had in those literacy and numeracy and science programs was an understanding of how people relate to other people, understanding emotions.”
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will launch on PBS in fall 2012.
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