Twitch announced today that they will be hosting a free 18-day, 886-episode marathon of the beloved PBS Kids series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company. This shared viewing experience on the Mister Rogers channel starts on May 15th at 12:00 p.m. PT and ends on June 3rd.
The marathon features the most comprehensive collection of episodes available, including many that have only aired once and are unavailable elsewhere online. Twitch will also run a fundraising campaign, during which viewers will be encouraged to show support for their local PBS station.
Considering Twitch's past marathon streams have done incredibly well, I'm sure this one will as well. Although to be honest, doing a marathon of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood seems like a bit of a weird match for Twitch. But what do I know? They have hosted marathons of Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting and Julia Child's The French Chef, so this isn't entirely out of their wheelhouse. And it is another internet favorite property. If you, like me, can't quite wrap your head around that one. Well, here's a hint:
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood debuted in 1968 and aired on PBS for decades. The show was grounded in an innovative social-emotional curriculum and starred the legendary Fred Rogers, who spoke directly to viewers, performed songs, created arts and crafts for viewers, and took them on tours of real-life locations. A lot of people have fond memories of Fred Rogers, and for good reason.
Every episode, dating from the show's premiere, will stream consecutively throughout the marathon. There will be additional mini-marathons in the following weeks, giving viewers the opportunity to enjoy their favorite episodes once again.
And naturally, no marathon of this magnitude would be complete without a brand new set of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood emotes. They'll be available to everyone who subscribes to /misterrogers.
The following statements were included in the press release, and aim to give you some background as to why The Fred Rogers Company and Twitch decided on this partnership:
"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."
All proceeds from the campaign within the United States will support local PBS stations. To further encourage support of PBS, Twitch Partners will be sharing personal stories about the importance of PBS and the impact of its programming. These spots will run throughout the marathon.