MISTER ROGERS: IT’S YOU I LIKE, a celebrity-filled, hour-long special that premieres on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 pm on WTTW11, 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. 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 almost 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.
50th Anniversary Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood / Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Theme Week on PBS KIDS
Just prior to the special’s premiere, WTTW KIDS will mark the 50th anniversary milestone with a week-long programming event throughout the week of February 26 that will include a new episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, as well as a special PBS KIDS Family Night on the 24/7 channel and live stream March 2-4. Each day, kids can watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes (at 9:30 am on WTTW11) with the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes (at 10:00 am) that inspired them, with complementary themes such as dealing with loss and coping with angry feelings. Episodes include:
February 26: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Daniel’s Fish Dies/Daniel’s Strawberry Seeds” (NEW) and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood “Death of a Goldfish”
February 27: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “The Tiger Family Grows/Daniel Learns About Being a Big Brother” and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood “Families”
February 28: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Visiting Grandpere/The Tiger Family Goes Home” and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood “Grandparents”
March 1: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Friends Help Each Other/Daniel Helps O Tell a Story” and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood “Friends”
March 2: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Daniel Gets Mad/Katerina Gets Mad” and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood “Mad Feelings”
WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and WTTW PBS Kids – and on wttw.com. Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as Chicago Tonight, Check, Please!, and MEXICO – One Plate at a Time, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s programming. Visitors to wttw.com can access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, immersive web-exclusive stories and features, event and membership opportunities, and more. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
About The Fred Rogers Company
The Company was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. The Fred Rogers Company continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The Company’s highly-rated, award-winning children’s series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, and Odd Squad. For more information, visit www.fredrogers.org. Follow The Fred Rogers Company on Twitter and Facebook.