Is this true?? PBS is dropping Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from its daily syndicated feed to its local affiliate stations in September, and instead sending out a single episode on weekends??
How in the world are local affiliates supposed to air the show five days/week if they only get one episode/week? Do they have episodes stockpiled on tape or something?
And how in the world does PBS think that one weekend episode will work, when the show is designed around a 5-day, inter-connected narrative? The whole Neighborhood of Make-Believe thing is a 5-part story each week! WTF? Oh, wait, maybe I shouldn't say that about Mister Rogers.
Anyway, if you're wondering what do you do with the mad that you feel, you're not alone. Brian Linder, a dad in South Carolina, is organizing a write-in movement to get PBS to come to their syndicating senses. The website, SaveMisterRogers.com, has the contact info for PBS and its executives. There's a Facebook group, too.
Holy Moses, there's a letter of encouragement from Mrs Rogers! !t must be true! Start writing and forwarding!
UPDATE: Alright, here's an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's TV critic Rob Owen explaining the changes. Sure enough, Local PBS stations can elect to receive an entire season's worth of episodes in the summer, which they then air at their own discretion. SO ANOTHER THING TO DO: Contact your local PBS station and tell them to keep carrying the show.
PBS, which describes the Neighborhood as "a legacy program," is removing it to make way for new programs in the syndicated feed, including Sid the Science Kid a preschool science show by Jim Henson Studios, and Sesame Workshop's new version of The Electric Company.
So WTF, is this just a bandwidth problem? Or is this about money, and the higher licensing fees that new episodes of new shows bring compared to Mister Rogers re-runs? Seriously, if PBS doesn't get their act together, Family Communications should just throw the whole archive up on iTunes.
Save Mister Rogers' Neighborhood [savemisterrogers.com]
Saving Mister Rogers on Facebook [facebook]
Less 'Mister Rogers' in PBS' Future [post-gazette.com]
Previously, one of my favorite discussions on DT: Merchandise. Is Mister Rogers the Anti-Sesame Street?