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A Sneak Peek at the New PBS KIDS Show 'Donkey Hodie'

Daniel Hautzinger
Donkey Hodie, Purple Panda, and Bob Dog. Image: Courtesy Fred Rogers Productions
'Donkey Hodie' follows the title character on her adventures with friends like Purple Panda and Bob Dog. Image: Courtesy Fred Rogers Productions

A new puppet series inspired by Mister Rogers is coming soon to PBS KIDS! Donkey Hodie premieres Monday, May 3 on WTTW and other PBS stations. Aimed at children ages 3-5, the show is set in the land of Someplace Else, where the original Donkey Hodie character from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood lived. 

Donkey Hodie follows the title character in adventures alongside her friends Purple Panda, Duck Duck, Bob Dog, and her Grampy Hodie, the founder of Someplace Else and the original Fred Rogers character. (Grampy Hodie was ordered by King Friday in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to leave the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and build the windmill he still lives in "someplace else.") The show features both re-imagined characters from Mister Rogers and new denizens, in addition to both remade and new songs. 

Donkey Hodie with Grampy Hodie. Image: Courtesy Fred Rogers ProductionsDonkey Hodie with Grampy Hodie, the founder of Someplace Else. Image: Courtesy Fred Rogers Productions

Produced by Fred Rogers Productions and the Highland Park-based Spiffy Pictures, Donkey Hodie is created by Spiffy's Adam and David Rudman and developed by Fred Rogers Productions' Ellen Doherty. It is filmed in a WTTW studio. In addition to Nature Cat, the Rudmans have produced the children's shows Jack’s Big Music Show for Nickelodeon and Disney's Bunnytown. David Rudman has been performing with and making puppets since he was a child; he now performs the role of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, for which Adam also wrote at one time. 

The colorful characters of Donkey Hodie dream big and work together to achieve their plans: to play the largest kickball game in history, or to find the Golden Rainbow. The world is full of possibilities—even if it takes some silliness and laughs to explore them.