The show has been seen for decades and now PBS wants to distribute only a single episode per weekend to member stations. "It's something I feel strongly about," Linder explained in an e-mail. "Not because of my own nostalgic feelings for the program, but because I feel it is still such a special nurturing voice in the lives of children." The timeless show, which began in 1962 on Canadian television as a 15-minute program called Misterogers, moved to PBS and was re-established with a three-word title in the late '60s. Fred Rogers, the cardigan-enrobed namesake and figurehead, gently taught young viewers about the world in all its facets—emotional, physical, spiritual—and was not afraid to deal with difficult issues like divorce and death. Rogers also penned Neighborhood's iconic theme, "It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood," which played in episode introductions from 1968 to the show's finale in 2001. Generations of fans mourned his passing two years later, at the age of 74. Linder extols Neighborhood's centrality to childhood development. “I was a highly-sensitive child,” he writes at SaveMisterRogers.com. “It was Mister Rogers who taught me how to begin to deal with my feelings. I think he taught my parents a lot, too. I know I’m still learning from him.” Mrs. Rogers (Fred's wife, Joanne) recently approved of Linder's efforts, which includes imploring kindred spirits to contact PBS at its headquarters or local affiliates, but no word has come back about plans for a policy shift. No response yet from PBS!
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