It’s a sad day in the neighborhood.

Yes, in light of recent world disasters, my problem is a negative 498 on a scale of 1 to catastrophic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make me extra punchy today having learned that my children can no longer watch Mister Rogers Neighborhood on TV.

Mister Rogers, the true pride of Pittsburgh, thankyouverymuch Wiz Khalifa, enshrined in statue, immortalized in museums, has had his show relegated to some channel called the Create Channel, and no longer appears on WQED Channel 13. At all.

[sob]

I don’t know why I’m taking this so hard. I’ve been joking with people lately that my life has become a country music song since December. Mah car crashed. Mah business burned. Mah house done flooded. Mah dog done died. Now I’m adding, “And ‘dem dagnabit fools took Mister Rogers away from mah chillins.”

I guess if you have Comcast you can catch Mister Rogers on Saturday’s on the Create Channel, WHATEVER THAT IS, but for those of us in the middle of a contract with Dish Network, we’ll be watching what we can on-line.

My daughter has taken a real liking to Mister Rogers lately. Asking to watch it. Singing the song. Miming him putting his shoes on and off. I started DVRing the show for her and noticed that the last time it recorded was about two weeks ago. So today I went hunting to see when I could expect to show her a new-to-her episode, and no luck.

I tweeted to WQED, kindly, but inside I was all, “MAH DOG DONE DIED AND NOW THIS?!?!”

Their answers, read from the bottom up:

I understand their reasons, but I tell you, if I were running WQED, I would never stop fighting for Mister Rogers.

In a weird coincidence, I noticed that Mister Rogers was gone on the same day when I have a post up about him over at Pittsburgh Magazine featuring a segment in which Mister Rogers tries to breakdance and it is everything that is right and good about Fred Rogers.

A snippet:

These days, children’s shows are produced and choreographed and bedazzled to a top-of-the-Chrysler-Building-seizure-inducing-everyone-is-happy-and-perfect-and-has-learned-something-important kind of shine. If a take isn’t perfect, it’s simply edited out. The stars are trained singers and dancers who will spend hours with a choreographer before they’ll allow themselves to be filmed for an episode about breakdancing.

But Mr. Rogers essentially says, I am who I am. I’m going to try this because I’m always telling these kids to try new things. I’m probably going to be terrible at this. Oh well. Action!

Go have a read and be sure to comment to win two awesome Burgh shirts!

I can only hope that his estate eventually releases a DVD set so that those of us with the inclination to do so, can be sure his memory lives on in our children’s childhoods and their children’s childhoods as well.  There are some things in this world that should just never fade away.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go break the news to my daughter. Let’s hope she takes it well and isn’t all, “But, mama, mah dog just done died! What next?!”





35 Comments

  1. Cassie
    March 11, 2011 2:10 pm

    My sister is who she is today because of Mister Rodgers. She was so dang shy that at the age of 5, he was probably her only friend non-family related.



  2. Scott
    March 11, 2011 2:14 pm

    So why can’t you just watch it on Create? It is available to everyone. Most TV stations and networks have multiple channels these days, QED is no different.



  3. stateOmain
    March 11, 2011 2:23 pm

    I think Create (13.2) is a regular station? I don’t have cable, just a converter box, and I know I’ve got Create. I rarely watch TV, but when I do, it’s one of the three PBS channels or nothing.



  4. Rebecca
    March 11, 2011 2:29 pm

    Yeah, we can watch MRN on Create (I guess…), but it loses something when one of the most iconic Pittsburgh shows is no longer being aired on one of the most iconic Pittsburgh stations. I don’t even HAVE a dog, but I think “mah dog just done died” too! (sigh…sniff)



  5. hello haha narf
    March 11, 2011 2:38 pm

    sad when a pittsburgh institution goes away. to me, mr. rogers and qed were synonymous.

    and didn’t wasn’t his show on daily? now only once a week. serious bullshit.

    :(



  6. Scott
    March 11, 2011 2:40 pm

    Create IS a QED station, guys. Enough of the funeral procession. The show is still on, available to anyone with a TV and is still airing on a WQED station.



  7. Virginia
    March 11, 2011 2:51 pm

    Scott, as you’ll see in the post, Dish Network subscribers cannot get Create. By moving it from PBS main, it impacts those of us using satellite TV, unless there’s a way to access channel 13.2 via Dish that I’m unaware of.

    I’d LOVE to watch it on Create, if I could find it.



  8. Jagoff
    March 11, 2011 2:58 pm

    I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure when he says that it’s “13.2 on digital over the air receiver” it means that all you need is a digital antenna such as this:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/RCA+-+Indoor+HDTV+Antenna+-+White/8939839.p?id=1215217075905&skuId=8939839



  9. empirechick
    March 11, 2011 3:13 pm

    Armstrong basic cable doesn’t carry Create either.



  10. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    March 11, 2011 3:16 pm

    Virginia — Some of the episodes are available on DVD through the Family Communications, Inc. (the company that produced the show) website: http://www.fcistore.org/products.asp?cat=23.



  11. HeatherB
    March 11, 2011 3:40 pm

    I popped over to your give away post and was crying by the third page of comments/memories! I remember the day that he passed away. I called my mom and she was crying when she answered. I too, was crying. I asked her why she was crying and she said, “Mr. Rogers died today. He was my friend.” It’s funny because I felt the same way yet neither of us had ever met him in person.

    I hope you find a way to continue to share episodes with your children.



  12. Scott
    March 11, 2011 4:02 pm

    Virginia,

    Sorry, I should have elaborated. You can get Create over the air for free. If you have an HD tv, it likely already has a digital tuner built in. If you run an automated channel scan, you’ll be able to pick up 13.2 over the air. You would use your regular TV remote to turn to that channel, which you probably just keep on Channel 3 normally to watch the Dish.

    If you don’t have an HD set, you can get a digital converter from any Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc which will also allow you to get Create. Tune in the same way I described above.

    You will likely find that Create is a bounty of fantastic programming. We watch it all the time for stuff like Rick Steves’ Europe and other great shows.



  13. pghsciencenerd
    March 11, 2011 4:05 pm

    Pitt and the Mr. Rogers Archive at St. Vincent’s both have episodes of Mr. Rogers in various formats, although I think the material is “for research purposes only.” I will be the first to donate money for any library that establishes a children’s room dedicated to making episodes of Mr. Rogers publicly available. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is too precious to be hidden away in filed boxes.



  14. DaleyT
    March 11, 2011 4:11 pm

    Lots of episodes available from Amazon instant video, too:

    http://www.amazon.com/First-Early-Whimsy-Frolic-Neighborhood/dp/B004C4HWEC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1299874103&sr=1-1#gc

    Free if you have Amazon prime or available to buy for $17.99/season (looks like about 15 episodes available per season).



  15. jmarinara
    March 11, 2011 4:16 pm

    A horrible day for what little remains of good TV, especially the scant remains of good children’s TV.

    This is why I hate public television/radio etc. The market will want MRN back, but they won’t do it because of some bureaucratic nightmare somewhere.

    I has a sad now.



  16. Scott
    March 11, 2011 4:34 pm

    You guys need to give public tv/radio a little slack. Both formats are currently under extreme financial pressure and are fighting, literally, for their future broadcasting lives.

    I think it is safe to say that if WQED, the people who created Mister Rogers Neighborhood, are saying they cannot financially support it on the main network anymore, they’re telling the truth.

    They’re not out to get you, or Mr. Rogers. Give them a break.



  17. spoon
    March 11, 2011 4:36 pm

    PBS has pulled kids programming from the afternoon. Lotsa parents have called to complain about it. Apparently programming for old people means they’ll get more donations meanwhile the tv guide still shows kids shows.

    as if old people are even awake in the afternoon or have more than a quarter in their pockets.



  18. Scott
    March 11, 2011 4:52 pm

    Spoon, again, WQED and other public media outlets are struggling financially…to the point where they may not survive. Clearly, the survival of the station takes priority over any one particular show, even Mr. Rogers. The greater good of keeping QED alive is the priority. You, and the others here who are slamming QED and public tv/radio in general, need to realize they’re not doing this to personally offend you. It is simple economics.



  19. Scott
    March 11, 2011 5:45 pm

    I’d be curious to see an informal poll of how many people here actually contribute financially to WQED. Anyone?



  20. empirechick
    March 11, 2011 6:07 pm

    I do – both WQED and WDUQ, every year. I’d rather watch/listen to them than most of the junk I pay for on basic cable. I would subscribe to public television/radio if it was offered that way, so I donate.



  21. Monty
    March 11, 2011 6:12 pm

    I find informal internet polls to be unreliable.

    But I agree with Spoon. Old people do sleep a lot. And they have those Woodsy Owl eyebrows.



  22. Scott
    March 11, 2011 6:16 pm

    empirechick, nice. We support DUQ in our household.



  23. Pensgirl
    March 11, 2011 9:33 pm

    Jagoff is correct. I have an over-the-air HD receiver and get local HD channels that way.



  24. spoon
    March 11, 2011 10:10 pm

    Scott, since you know my financials you obviously know that my family does in fact supports WQED.

    I never said that they personally offended me but as a parent who’s kids watch PBS, a family that invests in the drives and donate when possible, cant see why you would pull kids programming for, as the operator told us on the phone, to appeal to an older crowd.

    Stay at home parents are a huge demographic which spend a shitload of money that they’re now alienating.

    There’s simple economics for you.



  25. Karen S.
    March 11, 2011 11:36 pm

    I love the create channel. Unfortunately — true story — we only get 13.1. Because we suspect the baby threw the converter box remote in the trash (it was a phase), and we’re too cheap to buy a new one. So we can only watch the channel the TV was on when the clicker was tossed. Fortunately that’s 13.1 and yes, we are upset that they’ve put old people shows on in the day! Thankfully it’s most of the now-toddler’s nap :)



  26. bucdaddy
    March 12, 2011 12:44 am

    create
    cool
    Retro
    the Rick Sebak channel
    the Chris Fenimore channel
    something that isn’t the Nancy Polinski channel

    Get ’em all down here in snow-free West by-God.



  27. Scott
    March 12, 2011 11:46 am

    Spoon, once again, I don’t see why this is a problem when this programming is available for free on another QED network that is accessible to everyone. I agree that it stinks Mr. Rogers isn’t on every day, but I also see QED’s point of view.



  28. spoon
    March 13, 2011 2:31 am

    Scott, look at the WQED weekday programming. Show me where daily, on any of them between 12-3, is kids programming. What starts at 3pm is a repeat of the morning. Once again, thats the point that I originally made.



  29. O'Really
    March 13, 2011 11:57 am

    It seems with all the hours that QED has each day they could give a half hour to misterrogers. They wonder why donations are down.



  30. Scott
    March 13, 2011 7:24 pm

    Spoon, tune in to the childrens’ programming on one of QED’s other networks! They have 3 of them!



  31. spoon
    March 13, 2011 9:31 pm

    Scott, re-read what I said there sport. None of the qed channels have kids programming during the times I’m talking about.



  32. Scott
    March 14, 2011 10:34 am

    So get a DVR, Spoon.

    Let’s move on.



  33. Kathy
    March 14, 2011 12:27 pm

    I love Mr. Rogers. :)



  34. David
    March 14, 2011 8:03 pm

    You might check with WQED prodgramming Dept. It was also being aired on WQED Sunday Morning at 8:00am…..maybe it is off temporarily due to the pledging.



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