Binge ‘Mister Rogers’

Twitch is going old school.

The social video gamers’ platform will host a free 18-day, 886-episode marathon of the classic PBS series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

The marathon, which begins Monday, May 15, at 3 pm ET and ends June 3, promises “the most comprehensive collection of episodes available, including many that have only aired once and are unavailable elsewhere online.” Twitch says Mister Rogers episodes dating from the show’s premiere will stream, and that there will be repeat mini-marathons in the weeks following the main marathon’s conclusion.

Appealing across generational lines, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood debuted in 1968 and aired 895 episodes on PBS over 31 seasons. Host Fred Rogers talked directly to young viewers, performed songs, created arts and crafts for viewers, and took them on tours of real-life locations.

Here’s a classic Mister Rogers’ episode from 1970:

“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.”

Concurrently, Twitch will stage a fundraising campaign encouraging viewers to support their local PBS stations.

To watch the marathon and donate to your local PBS station, visit twitch.tv/misterrogers.

Mister Rogers isn’t the first public TV show to stream on Twitch. Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting and Julia Child’s The French Chef have also appeared.

 

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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