Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Word out of that entertainment mecca, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is that the folks who produced Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood are working on a new series for kids.
The Pittsburgh-based Family Communitcations, Inc. is in talks with producers of several top kiddie shows about coming up with a series that covers the same issues and themes of Mister Rogers, in a way Mr. Rogers would approve of– but more contemporary (read “less creepy”).
And they insist the new series won’t be a remake. Because in this age of Teletubbies, Wiggles and Clay Aiken, who could replace Mister Rogers? First aired in 1963, Mister Rogers is PBS’ longest running series ever– and through production stopped in 2001 and Mister Rogers died in 2003, it still airs in most parts of the country. The slow-paced, soothing, folksy show was perfect for little kids– up until they reached a certain age, when the sing-song Mr. Rogers and his slippers started seeming a little scary (even more so when you grew up to learn that in real life, his full name was Fred McFeely Rogers).
But though he’s still ripe for parody, Mister Rogers was as wholesome they come, a stuck-in-time fragment of uncynical Americana. Mister Rogers’ widow, Mrs. Rogers, who’s chairwoman of the Family Communications board, tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette she’d like to see the original show go on forever because it’s “ageless,” but admits that some aspects are “dated.”
One big potential change: Because the group is seeking partners, the new series may not be produced, as was Mister Rogers, in Pittsburgh (where the show gave local would-be actor Michael Keaton his first show biz gig, when he was still known by his given name, Michael Douglas).