Peek Inside Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Angela Santomero

So after weeks of presentations, tweets, announcements, etc. we finally shared our sneak peek of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on the PBS Preview site. While we've had an incredibly positive reaction from the kids who will make up our demographic audience, a few adult fans have some questions.

 

There will only be one Fred Rogers and one Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. All of the great preschool television shows out there owe a lot to this man and his mission for educating kids through media with respect and care. As a television creator, I literally grew up on Mister Rogers Neighborhood and wanted to do for kids programming what Mister Rogers did for me.
 
As such a huge fan of Mister Rogers', you can imagine how it felt to be given the task of introducing Fred's characters, his world and his pro-social curriculum to children today. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood was born to do just that. It is based on the work of Fred Rogers, and I believe we are moving Fred's legacy forward, in a whole new way.
 
So, here's some scoop on the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood preview clip:

 

 
 
The first clip: Show Open
We wanted to pay tribute to the Mister Roger's Neighborhood open where Mister Roger's puts on his red sweater and sneakers and sings directly to the home viewer.

 
For Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood we have Daniel, himself, sing to the home viewer for the beginning of the song and we intentionally kept it the same as Fred's original song. Daniel zips up his red sweater, he puts on his little sneakers and even tosses one a la Fred! If you look closely to this frame you can see all of our nostalgia elements: Daniel is in the foyer, similar to the Mister Roger's foyer, there are few different colored sweaters in the closet, there is a stoplight, a little trolley behind Daniel, little models of the Neighborhood (made by hand out of clay by Traci Paige Johnson) & even the fish tank.

 

 
Angela Santomero / Family CommunicationsThe song revs up and becomes a modern version of Fred's "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." Daniel hops on the trolley and goes through the (Pittsburgh) tunnel (the one that we go through in the original series) and ends up in our expanded new version of The Neighborhood of Make Believe. We can see many of the iconic characters and some new ones (especially in this open when we premiere in September).

 

 
 
The clip from "Daniel's Birthday" episode:

In this scene, you can get a sneak peek to Daniel's character who wants to be big & strong and carry his own birthday cake all the way home on Trolley. Trolleypremieres in this clip too, as you can hear her "ding" when spoken to as the beloved character that she is. Mom lets Daniel carry his cake by himself and he's excited. Perhaps he's a bit too excited!

We wanted to showcase empowering preschoolers and helping them through natural consequences. Because, as can be expected, when Daniel gets home, and runs in to show Dad his cake that he decorated at the bakery with his friends, it is smushed. Daniel is naturally very disappointed. Dad Tiger (the original Daniel Striped Tiger) takes the time to talk to Daniel about how he feels, letting Daniel have his emotion. Then Dad sings the disappointment strategy to him, "When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good." Daniel sings the strategy with the home viewer and thinks about how he can "find something good" in a smushed birthday cake. He thinks. And thinks. And then...."HEY! Do you think the cake still tastes yummy, even though its smushy?" He tastes the cake and guess what? It does taste yummy! And that is something good!

 

 
Please let us know your thoughts of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood!
 
 
cross posted from: http://angelasclues.com
 

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