Since Fred Rogers died almost a decade ago the children’s television market has grown increasingly crowded, but PBS is ready to unveil a new variation on the beloved "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood" aimed at young kids, reports Elizabeth Jensen in The New York Times.
The new show is called "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood" and targets youngsters 2 to 4 years old, a smaller segment than originally targeted by Rogers, the story notes.
Another big difference is that the neighborhood will now be animated. The show followw the children of Rogers’ puppet characters such as Daniel Striped Tiger. Both programs share key elements, such as talking about feelings and difficult life moments, Jensen writes.
"The death of a goldfish was not a discussion of the alphabet. It was a discussion of life. It was social and emotional, not cognitive based," said Kevin Morrison, chief operating officer of the Fred Rogers Company and the program’s co-executive producer.
Each episode of "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood" will include two stories that are tied together thematically and feature 4-year-old Daniel Tiger. The themes will focus on life issues such as waiting, anxiety and sharing, the piece notes.
“We started out with a clean sheet of paper,” Morrison said. “Nothing was off the table except having some guy in a sweater pretending to be Mr. Rogers. Fred was a unique character and cannot be replaced.”