Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood made its’ U.S. network debut on February 19, 1968. The program made a run on television that lasted more than 30-years. The impact of the show remains today, as we mark the 49th anniversary of the debut.
The focus of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was to teach preschool kids aged 2 to 5 about respect, responsibility, and self-esteem. Common Sense Media adds more regarding the show’s conduct:
The series uses music, make believe, and everyday tasks to illustrate kid-friendly themes like honesty, overcoming fears, and being a good friend. Field trips expose viewers to how common products are made, and the host’s visits with his neighbors demonstrate how their jobs benefit the community. Occasionally the show explores sensitive subjects like divorce or the loss of a loved one, but it’s always done in a responsible manner that’s appropriate for kids.
A close friend of Matt Lynn Digital lives near the airport. Our airport friend came across an airing recently and asked if any friends with kids are in the habit of watching this anymore. In other words, is Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood still relevant? The feedback was interesting:
One parent found the show too slow paced for kids nowadays. Another said no, that kids are too smart for the show nowadays and would be bored to tears. Yet another indicated that her son had watched the show until aging out of the target age for the program, yet he remembered watching Barney & Friends more than Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
A fourth parent indicated that their kids saw the show “once or twice…it’s amazing to see how they were mesmerized by [Fred Rogers’] voice.” Another indicated that her oldest daughter loved the show. Still another said this:
“I think kids should watch Mr. Rogers. It definitely calms children down. My son thought he wanted to be an opera singer because of the show.”
While new episodes ended in 2001 for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, our sister-in-law mentioned the series remained available on Netflix for awhile. Multiple parents pointed to an animated program that grew from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood beginning in 2012 named Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
That a show would air for kids that addresses a responsible, nurturing sensibility themed on manners and demonstrating respect, responsibility, and self-esteem makes me happy for humanity. The calm effect it has tends to foster something that can be lost in models like Batman, Superman, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, or the rest.
Remember the main show made its debut 49-years ago. Check out its animated offspring if you have kids. Cultural literacy and other factors recommend programming like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which made its’ U.S. network debut on February 19, 1968.
Matt – Sunday, February 19, 2017