Thanks to Angela Santomero, with whom I have collaborated on another smaller venture, I had the opportunity to write an episode of a recently launched TV show that spun off from a TV show I grew up on.
The old: Mister Rogersâ€™ Neighborhood.
The new: Daniel Tigerâ€™s Neighborhood, an animated sequel of sorts, aimed at preschoolers.
I wrote the script under tight deadline in the summer of 2010; it debuted the fall of 2012. I donâ€™t normally write for people that young, and wonâ€™t be writing more Daniel, but this was a great challenge and a true honor. As is typical in TV, my script was reworked in parts, but my core idea (â€śEveryone is big enough to do somethingâ€ť) is there, plus itâ€™s always fun to see oneâ€™s name in the credits of anything.
I hope one day Iâ€™ll get the chance to write for youth-directed spin-offs of other favorite shows of my formative years: Saturday Night Live, Family Ties, and The Twilight Zone.
On 7/31/11 (okay, Iâ€™m behind, but with, I think, good reason), PBS announced the first animated spinoffâ€”indeed the first spinoff of any kindâ€”based on Mr. Rogersâ€™ Neighborhood. Itâ€™s cutely called Daniel Tigerâ€™s Neighborhood, itâ€™s scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2012, and I wrote one of the first round of episodes.
According to the press release, the show is
based on the next generation of the original Mr. Rogersâ€™ Neighborhood characters. All of the original characters have grown up and now have preschoolers of their own. Daniel Tigerâ€™s Neighborhood stories revolve around a four-year-old Daniel Tiger, son of the original Daniel Tiger, and his preschool friends.My episode is about a fruit festival, and I will bedevil you by not revealing more as of yet.I was thrilled (and, naĂŻvely, surprised) to see the enthusiastic reaction in the press to this show. I should not have underestimated the appeal Mr. Rogers still has.I suspect there will be much more to blog about the series as we near its launch, but for now, I can say I am honored Iâ€™ve now been a small part of such a cherished American and educational institution.
Go get 'em, Tiger!
Happy Birthday, MTV! (The hit network turns 30 years old today, but as sister network LogoTV says, it doesn’t look a day over â€ś16 and Pregnant!â€ť To mark this major milestone, here’s a look at how MTV has changed over the years. In... Read the rest of this post