Fans of Mister Rogers can rejoice! The beloved children’s show is getting a new lease on life with a little help from Daniel Tiger.
Remember Daniel Striped Tiger? He was a shy and lovable tiger puppet in Mister Rogers’ Land of Make Believe. The last new episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired in 2002, and Fred Rogers died in 2003 — but now a whole new generation of kids can experience the innocence wisdom of the show with a brand new series.
Rogers’ Pittsburgh-based production company is creating Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an animated series that will teach life lessons through a tot-sized feline who is the son of a now grown-up Daniel Striped Tiger.
A whole new generation of characters — children of the originals — will appear on the show, including Prince Wednesday, son of King Friday and Queen Sara; Miss Elaina, daughter of Lady Elaine Fairchild; Katerina Kittycat, daughter of Henrietta Pussycat; and O the Owl, nephew of X the Owl.
“We weren’t going to find someone like Fred Rogers and stick a sweater on him, but the company wanted very much to remain in public television as a producer for children,” said executive producer Kevin Morrison.
“We really think we’re producing something Fred would be proud of that furthers his legacy,” Morrison told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “which is one of the things we’ve devoted ourselves to.”
Guess who else will be featured on the show? Trolley and Mr. McFeely!
“We wanted to weave the values and philosophy of Fred Rogers into whatever we did but make it relevant for the 21st century and a new audience,” Morrison said.
Image courtesy PBS/The Fred Rogers Company