After forty years of helping children with real-life issues, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" is being taken off air by PBS and local programmers to make way for new shows.
A classic show loved by many youngsters will no longer be given air-time on PBS, according to a news article. Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood will "disappear" from the Los Angles, Chicago and New York public broadcasting.
Why? The decision came down due to declining ratings as well as local stations wanting new programming.
As explained by the Chicago Tribune:
About 60 percent of PBS' 355 member stations carry "Mister Rogers." After Monday, that will shrink to a handful showing it daily, estimated an executive at Family Communications, a non-profit launched by Fred Rogers that produced and still owns the show.
The show was originally developed by Fred Rogers as simple ideas for children's programming in the 1950s and was brought to life by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in the early 1960s. The first episode aired in the United States in 1967 on a local Pittsburgh television channel and was then picked up by PBS one year later. The final episode aired on PBS in 2001, making it the longest running program on PBS.
Fred Rogers died in February of 2003 after a bout with stomach cancer.
The decision to cancel the children's show has indeed sparked some ill feelings from those who are loyal to the show and the lessons that Mr. Rogers taught to all, especially those who were faced with awkward issues.
One Milwaukee station had originally planned to hack the show but to the beat of much happiness, changed its mind and will continue with the long-time favourite. Still, PBS' decision will likely cause a tear or two to roll down the cheeks of some hardcore fans.
The option of partnering stations and other local programmers carrying episodes has not been ruled out. There is also buzz from PBS that a Mr. Rogers website will be "ramped up" and that episodes will be made available online.
For many, though, the last zipping of that cardigan sweater and changing of those tennies shoes and feeding the fish will simply pass and neighbors they will be no more.
Farewell Mr. Rogers, Mr. McFeely, King Friday, Queen Sara, Prince Tuesday, Henrietta, X the Owl, Trolly and even Lady Elaine.