As if being able to paint happy little trees with Bob Ross wasn’t enough of a nostalgic kick for Twitch viewers, next week they’ll be able to visit a very familiar neighborhood from their childhood – well, if you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, mind you.
The streaming channel has announced a partnership with The Fred Rogers Company and PBS Kids to bring Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to the streaming front with a massive 18-day, 886-episode marathon, which will kick off on May 15th. This is the latest piece of nostalgia to make its way to the channel, mere months after a gigantic marathon of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series.
The show originally debuted back in 1968 and aired for decades on PBS, featuring Fred Rogers speaking directly to viewers about a number of issues, while also trying new things on the show (the breakdancing lesson is nothing short of legendary) and speaking with characters that continuously make appearances.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood always maintained a message of positivity, with Rogers concluding each episode with some kind of up-worthy praise, to make “each day special by being ourselves,” according to the press release.
“From listening to feedback, it became clear that the Twitch community has not only embraced content which goes beyond gaming, they want more of it,” said Bill Moorier, Head of Creative at Twitch. “We were drawn to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood because Fred Rogers was a positive voice in fostering inclusivity and diversity, and, like our streamers, he talked to the viewers as if they were in the room with him. While his show was geared toward children, his messages have universal appeal.”
“Fred Rogers created a blueprint for children’s television that still works today, and his messages of acceptance and inclusion remain just as timeless and relevant as they did when Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood first aired,” said Paul Siefken, President and CEO of The Fred Rogers Company. “We are delighted to be working with Twitch to make the show available to fans, as well as reach a whole new whole new audience that did not grow up watching the program.”
“Fred Rogers believed in the boundless potential of all children, and his landmark educational philosophy continues to guide our work today at PBS KIDS,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We are excited to bring Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to the Twitch community in this special event, honoring Fred’s legacy, and encouraging fans to support the important work that local PBS stations do to help all children learn and succeed.”
Over the course of the marathon, proceeds raised will go back towards public broadcasting stations, so it’ll be doing some good while fans enjoy the return of Mr. Rogers. Viewers will be able to tune in and donate on this official Twitch channel. In addition, various Twitch partners will also be contributing to the program, explaining the importance of PBS and its impact in programming, over the course of the marathon.