Maybe because "Bob Dog's Neighborhood" just doesn't have the same ring to it, PBS has greenlighted a new animated series for preschoolers called "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," the first show produced by the Fred Rogers Company since "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
The series, which PBS' senior vice president of children's media Lesli Rotenberg announced at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday morning, will revolve around four-year-old Daniel Tiger, the son of Daniel Striped Tiger, the always questioning and timid pal of Mister Rogers who resided in the Land of Make Believe in the original series.
The premise of the cartoon is that some of the characters from the original Land of Make Believe have grown up and have pre-schoolers of their own. The series is in production now and will launch in the fall of 2012.
(Daniel Striped Tiger, meanwhile, is not to be confused with fellow Land of Make Believe resident Henrietta Pussycat, the hand puppet who frequently said, "Meow meow, Mister Rogers, meow meow." This is a common mistake, in the same way that people often conflate the "Fat Albert" characters Mushmouth and Dumb Donald.)
This surprising news highlighted PBS' morning session on Sunday, which focused on the non-profit network's programming aimed at children, such as the upcoming documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey," which debuted to wild applause at Sundance 2011.
Rotenberg also said that the upcoming season of "Sesame Street," its 42nd, would have a guest appearance by "Bored to Death" star Jason Schwartzman in a segment called "Cast Iron Chefs" and that Elvis Costello will duet with Elmo. There will also be a "Glee" spoof called — you guessed it — "G."