Daniel Tiger takes over Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

PBS premiered this week a mostly-animated sequel to the beloved “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The new show is called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Daniel is the son of the show’s puppet Daniel Striped Tiger. Daniel sings a version of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and zips up a hoodie instead of a cardigan.

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” ran for 33 years until Fred Rogers’ retirement in 2000. He died in 2003.

From People Magazine:

“Fred’s widow Joanne Rogers tells The Times that her late husband had quietly searched for a successor to take over his show, but that he could never find one – and she figured that if he couldn’t, no one else could, either…. “

“I must say I spent a very nervous time thinking about what Daniel would be like,” said Joanne Rogers. “I’m in my 80s now, and I grew up with cartoons, the slapstick kind of things that went on, and I never much cared for it.”

“Only Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is nothing like that. According to Mrs. Rogers, “I like that little Daniel is so dear, but he’s also very, very human, and he has his feelings.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker finds the show to be just OK.

From EW’s Ken Tucker:

“There’s a difference between being simple and simplistic. Fred Rogers’ Neighborhood was great kids programming because its creator not only addressed common kid problems and joys, but did it with interesting conversation. He also built a rich fantasy world in the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe.” And while Rogers’ puppetry may seem slow and old-fashioned to some grown-ups now (probably a lot of television executives, for example), the life that Rogers and his collaborators breathed into characters such as Lady Elaine and King Friday XIII is missing in the current new show.”

“The series is a co-production of The Fred Rogers Company and Out of the Blue Enterprises, the latter containing some of the folks who brought you Blue’s Clues. This new project is a good enough show — not, as Daniel says ceaselessly, “Grrrr-ific!” If it didn’t have the Fred Rogers sourcing behind it, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood would seem like a score of other pre-school-aimed shows: brightly-colored, always in hectic motion, always careful to spell out every theme and emotion slooooowly. It doesn’t have the slightly eccentric, humane, leisurely touch that Fred brought to children’s television, but it’s perfectly okay.”

I  grew up on Mister Rogers. I loved it as a kid. I tried showing it to Rose and Walsh when they were little, and they would never sit still for it. I think the other shows were so go-go-go that they found the show to be slow. (The same is true for Beverly Cleary novels, which I always loved. They always thought they moved too slowly. It makes me sad.)

Michael met Mr. Rogers when we lived in Pennsylvania. They both attended a celebration at the Crayola factory. Mr. Rogers asked Michael what his favorite color crayon was and they both agreed on yellow. Mr. Rogers took a photo of the two together and sent it to Michael. He also sent him a yellow crayon. We have since lost it in moves. I am hoping it will turn up.  Michael said he was just as lovely as he seemed on TV.

Did you happen to catch the show? Do you want your kids or grandkids to watch it? Did you watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when you were young? Did your kids? What do you make of the preview?

26 comments Add your comment


September 5th, 2012
2:15 am

Mr. Rogers was an intelligent, wonderful, child-friendly, wonderful storyteller. He was the king of kids’ shows, IMHO. I miss him – his show and his deep affection for maintaining a childlike quality when performing. He made sure to seem approachable to kids (routine, “softening” his look with a zippered up cardigan and sneakers), and non-threatening and playful to adults.

I would love for my kids to have had this type of show when they were kids.


September 5th, 2012
7:55 am

We loved Mr. Rogers around here. My son and husband watched him every day, as he was home with him inthe a.m. while I taught kinder and then he went to work at night. I saw him, in person, years ago. I also enjoyed dinner with Hedda Sharapan, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at The Fred Rogers Company. A lovely lady. She told me that Mr. Rogers received letters from adults that said he was the loving/caring person in their lives, while they were children and in a difficult situation. We will check it out. Thanks for sharing.


September 5th, 2012
8:22 am

In the spirt of kind people, such as Mr Rogers, I wanted to share this story that happened to my daughter yesterday:

She works in the a.m. and then goes to class in the afternoon. She stopped after work, for lunch, and ordered a meal. They asked her what sides she wanted and she told them she only had $8 cash with her and wanted to be sure that she covered everything. A lady near her said, ” Here is $10…take it,” WOW…I am thrilled that she got to experience someone’s generosity ( sp?) and reminded her to pay it forward. A great lesson for her in the fact that there are wonderful people in our world who would bestow kindness on a stranger.


September 5th, 2012
9:07 am

They’re a decade too late. Little ones have no idea who Mr. Rogers is. This will fail miserably.

Why not make a cartoon kangaroo bring back Captain Kangaroo? Oh….because it’s irrelevant.

Voice of Reason

September 5th, 2012
9:13 am

Growing up I never much cared for the shows on PBS. I did not watch Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, or Reading Rainbow

Instead, I grew up with Nickelodeon, watching shows like Dusty’s Tree-house, Pinwheel, and Today’s Special. Later on, I would watch shows like You Can’t Do That on Television. Back then, Nickelodeon was a brand-new station. As I remember it ran shows for only half the day, the rest of the day was taken up with crappy infomercials.

Honestly, and even though I know his show was designed for kids, I always found Mr. Rogers himself, to be a bit creepy. He was way too calm an individual for my tastes.


September 5th, 2012
9:23 am

Oh Yippee….we go from college dorm decorating to Mr. Rogers replacement, which is a cartoon. Who cares?


September 5th, 2012
10:30 am

Personally, I Prefer the more VIOLENT CARTOONS of the 60’s & 70’s! they were far
more funnier and entertaining! Today’s shows, there is too much thinking and analysis going on. Always some kind of moral lesson, take away involved. It Makes my head HURT! :) that’s just my opinion.


September 5th, 2012
10:37 am

Wife and I grew up on Mr. Rogers. We watched a few minutes of the new cartoon. It’s ‘ok’, quite similar to Dora.

The problem w/all the cartoons, IMO, is that kids are mesmerized by the colors, moving shapes, but pay little attention to the characters or the message. In the original, Mr. Rogers is a grandfatherly figure, and kids learn to sit still, pay attention to what he is saying. There were no distractions from him and his words.

Basically, I think the cartoon is an entirely different product, with just some vague similarities.

sunset near

September 5th, 2012
10:53 am

This column seems to be managed by an 8 year old.


September 5th, 2012
11:02 am

My (foster) grandson, 7 was looking for Mr. Rogers and came across Daniel’s Neighborhood. While he enjoyed the show and felt Daniel had ’stolen’ the song he still longed for Mr. Rogers. I explained Mr. Rogers had died and Daniel Tiger was one of his favorite characters. He seemed content with that but still wanted Mr. Rogers’ show. He was delighted to find it today. I’ve watched him watching the show this morning. There is something that attracts him and engages him in the themes. He does see Mr. Rogers as a gentle friend who shows him many things about the world. I have always loved the places Mr. Rogers goes to in the show. The gentle themes and conversations are reassuring while the ‘neighbors’ are the windows to the world.

I hope Daniel’s Neighborhood will be able to capture more of the original intent and reasssurance of childhood. There is really no other place today where for many children to hear these themes and children’s concerns discussed.


September 5th, 2012
11:02 am

Still hunting that wascally wabbit….


September 5th, 2012
12:02 pm

I always thought the Smurfs were the best.


September 5th, 2012
12:07 pm

Pink Panther cartoons…..man I loved those. I found some on DVD not to long ago….My kids LOVE him!!!!

markie mark

September 5th, 2012
12:23 pm

As a grandfather, I appreciate any shows that help kids learn and understand life. Sometimes in todays world, the shows are too fast, so I like that there are reruns like this for the little ones….however, 5 years ago I bought the complete Loony Tunes collections on DVD, and have spent hours with my grandchildren laughing at cartoons I haven’t seen since I was a child…..


September 5th, 2012
12:46 pm

I adored the simple, special fun of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and now my 2 year old son is glued to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I’m ecstatic that the best part of Mr. Rogers, Trolly and the Land of Make Believe has been brought to a new generation. Yes it’s slow but my son doesn’t seem to mind and the PBS website has lots of cute activities too.


September 5th, 2012
1:27 pm

Timeless Wisdom
From Fred Rogers

“Haven’t you found that one of the best ways children learn is from the example of the grownups they love? When children see that you wonder about the world around you…that you ask questions…that you notice things and look carefully, then they’ll want to be curious about the world around them, too. ”

I see lots of children and most of them love a gentle voice and spirit. They also love adults who will get right down on their level and share the wonder of the world: a fish in an aquariium, a leaf on the side walk, a shiny penny. We laughed at cartoons with our children but some children today have not spent time with simple things…a stick in a creek, a yoyo, or looking for fireflies. This makes me sad. Some children have never even enjoyed a book in a chair with an adult or tucked into bed at night. Guess you could send them to bed with your cell phone or laptop.


September 5th, 2012
1:27 pm

I loved Mr. Rogers and still miss him so much! My kids watched him when they were small and it was sweet to watch him again with them. There never could ever be a replacement for him, but it is nice that they have made the new cartoon show with some of the characters from the original show.

stacy campbell

September 5th, 2012
2:09 pm

I grew up with and loved Mr Rogers neighborhood… I was very saddened when he passed. I noticed the resemblance to Mr. Rogers in Daniel tiger and I watch it everyday with my one year old daughter. Nothing will ever measure up to Mr Rogers but my daughter and I enjoy it and the similar qualities to my favorite childhood show. When she’s a little older I’d love to share Mr Rogers with her too. Thanks to Mrs. Rogers for carrying on your husbands work and bringing it in to my home and to my daughter. Its hard to find quality cartoons now days. I take pride in my daughters education, even this early. Thank you too PBS.


September 5th, 2012
2:21 pm

Didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers but had heard about the show. My preschooler LOVES Daniel tiger and has been enjoying him for about 2 weeks now on the PBS website. “When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good…” can often be heard in our home. As we prepare to enter public school, I appreciate the message that grown-ups always return. It’s something my child struggles with greatly as they’ve always had both parents, a sibling and grand-parent at home and don’t deal well with separation.
I think it’s a great program and look forward to the new episodes.


September 5th, 2012
4:36 pm

That show drove met NUTS!!! My kids are grown now and they hated it when they were young too. Like VOR said, something was just creepy about him


September 5th, 2012
6:15 pm

I grew up with Mr Rogers, and it was a sad day when he passed. I grew up with Electric Company (and thank Morgan Freeman for teaching me that reading was cool and easy!). I remember Zoom, and of course Sesame Street (but it is still around).

If they are going to bring one these back then we should hear; “Hey you guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


September 5th, 2012
6:17 pm

oh and my children would get up early on Sat just to see Mr. Rogers when they were little.


September 6th, 2012
11:03 am

I’m late to this party but I had to add to the convo – memories of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and specifically Mr. Rogers, have nearly brought tears to my eyes. I never realized how much I loved his show until I became an adult (I think, at 42, I’m probably one of the last generations to actually see it in its original run, but I could be wrong).

I can remember the shows vividly, and though I didn’t realize it then, I now know that I loved them so much because he talked to me (yes, me, not us!) like I was an adult and didn’t talk down to me. And there was always something I “got” from each episode, like a new tip or craft, or advice that I didn’t really even know he was giving me.

Great show. Great man. Both are much missed. I’m happy this new show is bringing at least some of the spirit of Mr. Rogers to a new generation. My niece and nephew would have NONE of it though – they’re all into these frenetic and violent cartoons now (not that He-Man wasn’t!).


September 6th, 2012
12:50 pm

By Choice, we do not have cable televsion (or dish or direct tv). For the past 12 years, we have relied on just regular “free” programming and it’s worked out just fine. I personally love NOVA and Independent Lens. My kids are being raised on PBSkids. They have never seen (with the exception of a few times at Grandmas in Ohio) Nicklodeon or the Disney Channel, or Cartoon Network… which I am thankful for because I can’t stand the rude humor of Spongebob or all of the teenage programming marketed at little girls (4-8 year olds) like Hannah Montana or Victorious or iCarly. Most of those shows are inappropriate for the ages that are watching them.

My wish for PBSkids is that they would come up with more shows like Martha or Authur for the 7-10 age group. Shows where the characters are a little older and deal with real problems, BUT where the people speak respectfully, kids can learn a moral, and be educated in some way. We do have netflix so my kids do watch some action/adventure type stuff. Right now for my 4 and 7 year old, Power Rangers is big as is Mutant Nija Turtles. And my daughter loved She-Ra. But 95% of the time, they watch PBS shows.


September 7th, 2012
6:20 am

My 4 year old son loves this show. We don’t have cable, so we’ve been watching the episodes online. Oftentimes after watching he’ll be singing the songs and mimicking the movements.

Dean Anderson

September 8th, 2012
8:49 pm

I grew up watching MR Rogers Nieghborhood; I would not miss a show its my belive that the show and MR R appealed and captured the attentoin of the minds of some children more than others; I came from a family of two older sisters and two younger brothers IM the more creative and problem solving of the five till this day at 48 I still keep everyone together when theres tiffs or arguments Im the mediatore. Belive it or not he taught me agreat deal in life that I still go by being nice to people to be forgiving loving caring respectfull of others and so many other things being afraid hurt confused and so forth. OH YA by the way my father was not around my mother worked so he sure filled in some empty feelings and I could not think of a nicer kinder guy than he; definitly one of a kind. P.S. RIP IN your land of make belive.