The legacy of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood lives on. This week, PBS announced they will air a special in honor of the TV show’s 50th anniversary this March.
Created by and hosted by Fred Rogers, the long-running children’s series provided a variety of lessons, music, and information for preschool-age kids. The show ran from 1968 to 2001.
PBS’ 50th anniversary special, titled Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like, will be hosted by Michael Keaton and feature appearances by Judd Apatow, Whoopi Goldberg, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Silverman, and more.
Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like is set to debut on PBS in March. Read more info below:
MISTER ROGERS: IT’S YOU I LIKE, a celebrity-filled, hour-long special that premieres on PBS stations in March 2018 (check local listings), celebrates Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the pioneering PBS series that premiered nationally 50 years ago and became an iconic and enduring landmark in the world of children’s television and beyond. Cast members from the groundbreaking series share their personal perspectives and insights in this new production, which pays tribute to television’s longest-running children’s series, still broadcast on many PBS stations today. The program also features interviews with numerous celebrities who have been influenced and inspired by Fred Rogers, a modest man who always said, “I am not a teacher, I simply help children learn.”
Michael Keaton, who worked as a stagehand and made appearances on the series in the 1970s, hosts the special. Judd Apatow, Joyce DiDonato, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and son Nicholas Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Silverman, Esperanza Spalding and Caroll Spinney reveal their favorite memories from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, while Joe Negri (“Handyman Negri”), David Newell (“Mr. McFeely”) and Joanne Rogers, Fred’s widow, share their personal stories. Also featured are performances from the archives by Tony Bennett, The Empire Brass Quintet, Hillary Hahn, Margaret Hamilton, Yo-Yo Ma and Nicholas, Wynton Marsalis and Perlman.
The nearly 900 episodes created by Fred Rogers encompass topics that resonate to this day with adults and children alike. Favorite segments, such as a visit with Koko the Gorilla, Big Bird’s appearance in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe as well as trips to the Crayola Factory and the Radio Flyer Wagon Company, are highlighted.
MISTER ROGERS: IT’S YOU I LIKE is produced by JoAnn Young (JFK: The Lost Inaugural Gala, Oscar Hammerstein: Out of My Dreams) and John Paulson (JFK: The Lost Inaugural Gala and A Raisin in the Sun Revisited). Ellen Doherty and Kevin Morrison of The Fred Rogers Company are executive producers.
PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? Will you watch the 50th anniversary special?