PBS will drop daily reruns of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” from its national schedule, reports Rob Owen in the Post-Gazette.
Instead, “Neighborhood” will air only once a week, beginning this fall.
The move, coming five years after the death of Latrobe native and program host Fred Rogers, is being made to make room for more recent programs, say executives of the nation’s largest public television network.
Rogers stopped making new episodes of the show in December 2000, Owen notes.
WQED-TV (13), which produced Rogers’ shows for three decades, will continue to air the show daily.
Kevin Morrison, chief operating officer of Family Communications, the company founded by Rogers to supervise “Neighborhood,” says parents who want their local public TV stations to carry the show should call and let them know.
“All programming decisions for PBS stations are local decisions,” he said. “It’s not up to PBS or [Family Communications] to tell them what they’re going to play.”
According to Owen, PBS is making room for at least three new kids’ shows, including one from The Jim Henson Co.; a new version of “The Electric Company”; and “Martha Speaks,” a series based on the books by Susan Meddaugh.