It’s a new generation of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe with the brand-new kids program Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood premiering on WETA Kids September 3, 2012! Inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger is a 4-year old who invites preschoolers ages 2-4 and their
families into his world and his everyday adventures to learn fun and practical strategies and skills necessary for growing and learning. Head over to PBSKids.org to meet Daniel and the gang, play games, print fun coloring templates, and watch videos from the new show. You can even watch the full episode “Daniel’s Birthday”! PBS Parents has a host of information, activities, and videos for parents and care-takers to learn more about the series.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
WETA Kids (Antenna 26.3, Cox 801, Comcast 266, FiOS 472, RCN 38)
- Premieres Monday September 3, 2012 at 11:00am
- Airs Mondays – Fridays at 11:00am & 5:30pm
- Every episode from the week airs back-to-back on Saturdays from 12:30pm – 3:00pm
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
WETA TV26 (Antenna 26.4, Cox 26 & 802, Comcast 26 & 267, FiOS 26 & 471, Dish 8076, RCN 26)
- Premieres Tuesday September 4, 2012 at 10:30am.
- Airs Mondays – Fridays at 10:30am
*Wild Kratts now airs Mondays – Fridays at 5:00pm and every episode from the week airs back-to-back on Saturdays 5:30pm – 8:00pm.*
To learn more about the educational value of the series and how it came to be, read the below conversation with the series’ Executive Producers, Kevin Morrison, Chief Operating Officer of The Fred Rogers Company, and Angela C. Santomero, Co-Founder of Out of the Blue Enterprises.
Q. After so long, why return to Mister Rogers’ beloved neighborhood now?
K.M. A few years ago, The Fred Rogers Company set out to produce a new series for a new generation of children. We developed a number of different program ideas, but Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, based on characters familiar to generations of children, was always everybody’s favorite. Although the series uses the latest production techniques and looks beautiful, its essence is based on Fred Rogers’ timeless techniques. In addition, PBS approached us to work on a new series focused on helping young children with the little life lessons they need to be successful when they arrive at preschool, and throughout their lives.
Q. What made Fred Rogers a pioneer in children’s entertainment? How is his trademark approach evident in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?
A.S. Fred Rogers has been both an inspiration and a major career influence for me. In effect, he created a blueprint for children’s television that works. And, with this new show, we embraced the great level of respect that Fred had for children, the way he communicated with them, his gentler pace and his “interactive” inclusion of his young “neighbors” at home.
K.M. Fred was a pioneer in the way he used the camera. In the 50s and 60s, children’s presenters were addressing an audience. When Fred spoke, there was no doubt that he was talking just to you. At that time, this was revolutionary.
Q. Are there elements of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood? How is the new series fresh and different?
A.S. There are nostalgic nods of “love” to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood throughout each episode of the new show. The characters are the children of the beloved puppets from Fred’s Neighborhood of Make-Believe and our series star, Daniel Tiger, is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger, Fred’s first puppet. Like Fred, Daniel wears a red sweater and sneakers and speaks directly to preschoolers to include them in his day. Fred’s music can be heard, in some cases as cover songs, and in others as inspiration for new musical strategies.
K.M. That being said, this is a brand-new series with a very different look and feel. It’s animated instead of live-action and focuses on the adventures of a 4-year-old and his friends in an exciting and very different Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Q. How have Fred Rogers’ groundbreaking concepts been updated to appeal to a whole new generation of young viewers and their parents?
A.S. Fred’s curriculum is timeless. But our approach to his curriculum was planned with today’s preschoolers in mind because we wanted to make sure that we were reaching them most effectively in terms of appeal and learning.
Q. Why choose animation instead of live action?
A .S. We animated Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to put a unique spin on the “neighborhood” with this new series. Plus, animation gives us powerful tools for storytelling and allows us to make our stories visual – for example, we can let viewers peek inside Daniel’s colorful imagination.
K.M. We considered live action but since there’s no way that we could ever have found a replacement for Fred, we decided that the best way to bring his legacy to life for today’s young viewers was to animate the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Q. How did you develop the characters for the show?
A.S. Although the characters were initially based on the puppets in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, our goal was to give them a multi-dimensional feel so they’re true to the personalities of preschoolers.
K.M. We want children to feel that they’re friends with the characters – and hopefully aspire to be like them so they are engaged and learning the strategies right alongside Daniel and his cohorts.
Q. What role does music play in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and why do you think using song-based strategies is so effective?
A.S. Music is an integral tool for learning in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Our musical strategies are unique and catchy. Parents and children will be singing them all day long! For preschool viewers, music propels the curriculum forward, ensuring that they truly understand why a particular strategy was needed and how it helped our characters.
K.M. And couching a key strategy in an easy-to-remember song makes it very simple for parents to help their children incorporate that new skill into their daily lives.
Q. What was PBS’ role in developing Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?
K.M. Developing a series for PBS KIDS is a very creative, collaborative process. We’ve worked closely with the PBS team to bring Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to life. And PBS’ approach goes beyond television – we’re also working closely with the PBS KIDS team and our partners at Schell Games and CloudKid to develop an engaging website and mobile app to reinforce the series’ curriculum.
Q. Recent research shows that early development of solid social and emotional skills leads to success later in life. How did this help inform the creation of the show?
A.S. Pro-social values have been shown by numerous studies to be imperative to later social and academic success for children. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood helps hone the skills that prepare young viewers to be optimal learners in kindergarten and beyond. Encouraging children’s self-confidence, combined with the ability to regulate their impulses and appreciate adult guidance, gives them the solid foundation they need going forward.
Q. How can Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood be a useful tool for parents and preschoolers beyond the television screen?
A.S. Moms and dads who have previewed the show have called it “A user’s guide for today’s parent.” We’re finding that parents and caregivers are writing down our strategies and using them when they need to encourage their kids to be patient, when they’re nervous about a new experience or when they’re disappointed. We hope to have a useful strategy for every situation a parent could find themselves in!