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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Debuted ON PBS Today

Submitted by on September 3, 2012 – 2:30 pm Comments

Daniel Tiger's NeighborhoodIt has been 11 years since we saw “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on TV and nine years since Fred Rogers passed away. But now, the iconic children’s show will be returning to PBS, at least in some way.

The network will soon begin showing a spin off of the old favorite, titled “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The series is based on the fictional offspring of Roger’s puppets, and shows Daniel Striped Tiger. The show will run twice every weekday. “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” will be completely animated, unlike the original live-action “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

The co-excutive produce of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Kevin Morrison says that the new show will keep all the important elements of the original show. He said that Fred had always liked to talk about feelings and difficult things. He said the death of a goldfish was not a talk about the alphabet. It was a discussion about life. He said the show was more social and emotional based, not cognitive based.

Joanne Rogers, the wife of Fred Rogers who died in February 2003, said that she agrees, and says that topics that will be discussed on the show are “Fred’s philosophy.” It had to have her late husband’s values before she would sign off on the new show.

The show debuted today on PBS. The show features two related 11 minute episodes and a live action short film. Every day will gently discuss a moral lesson. Voodoo Highway will add their flair for song to the show.

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Most of the parents of the show’s target audience grew up on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and will probably recognize a few of the show’s cast. Daniel Tiger is the son of the original show’s Daniel Striped Tiger. His best friend is O the owl who lives in a tree with his Uncle X. The Mister Rogers' Neighborhooddaughter of Henrietta Pussycat, Katerina Kittycat is one of Daniel Tiger’s friends, along with Prince Wednesday, who was the youngest member of the royal family on the original show.

Joanne Rogers said that there was no doubt in her mind that the need was there for Mister Roger’s values. She had been married to Fred Rogers for over 50 years, and says those values are “honesty, truth, loyalty and doing the best you can.” She said that Fred tried to share those values without being too religious.

The new show was years in the making. Kevin Morrison, who is the co-executive producers of The Fred Rogers Company and Angela C. Santomero (creator of “Super Why!” and “Blue’s Clues,”) were the perfect choices to bring the show to life. She says they all speak Freddish.

Mister Rogers was the very first person to break the wall and talk directly to the audience. “Daniel” has a distinct look. Daniel wears the famous red knit sweater and rides the trolley through the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The pilot of the show tells how to deal with disappointment. On Daniel’s birthday, he and his mom go to buy a cake. Daniel insists on carrying his tiger cake, but doesn’t hold the box steady, and the cake gets squished. Daniel has to learn how to handle the disappointment.

The makers of the show say that their vision is to promote Fred’s legacy and the themes and curriculum that he taught on his show. They say their hope is that they can touch one child the way that Fred Rogers did to them.

Check out a Sneak Peak Below

Keaven Neely

Keaven is a stay at home mother of two little girls. She writes her blog This Mama Is Crazy and also sells her arts and crafts on her Etsy site. Writer of “The No BS Zone”

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