Amazon-Owned Streaming Platform Adds ‘Neighborhood’ Marathon Starting May 15th
Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch has seen success from reviving television classics in marathon, binge-watching fashion. Bob Ross. Julia Childs. And now, Mister Rogers.
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“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.
Starting May 15th, Twitch will make over 800 episodes of Public Broadcasting Station’s iconic kids franchise “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” available. Over the course of the 17 days the series will episodically roll out, Twitch will also support PBS in fundraising efforts for over 350 local PBS stations.
Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS said: “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 public broadcast stations do to help all children learn and succeed.”
As Twitch builds out its live, original and syndicated programming offers outside of gaming, the company has been said to be in testing mode. Bob Ross and Julia Childs, for instance, while both centered in DIY and How-To categories, targeted very different demographics and informed community engagement on crafting/creative arts versus cooking. Mister Rogers is more family-focused and opens up Twitch’s learnings to a new category.
“We were drawn to ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ because Fred Rogers was a positive voice in fostering inclusivity and diversity,” added Moorier. “…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.”
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuted in the U.S. on PBS in 1968 and ran for 40 years until it was removed from PBS’ dedicated syndication slot in 2008, though a handful of local stations continued airing the series. This partnership with Twitch marks the most comprehensive airing of the show since it first aired on television.
“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.”