Many PBS stations boot 'Mister Rogers'

Sept. 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Reruns of the classic U.S. children's program "Mister Rogers' Neighbohood" reportedly won't be seen on many PBS stations this season.

Although the show's star, Fred Rogers, died five years ago and new installments of the series have not been taped for seven years, many people are still upset the children's television staple has been ousted from the 2008-09 lineup to make way for new shows, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago's WTTW-Channel 11, as well as stations in Los Angeles and New York, are among those dropping the program, mainly due to a dip in ratings, the newspaper said.

"It sucks, man," Brian Linder, a South Carolina writer and parent who established the Facebook Website told the Tribune. "That's not a Mr. Rogers thing to say. But maybe in this case he'd even say it."

One of the letters posted on Linder's site was written by Oak Park, Ill. illustrator Chris Ware.

"The show is fundamentally about clumsy, awkward, uncomfortable real life, and it's one of the last places on television where children can see it honestly reflected (regardless of the 1980s clothing and 1970s cars, which young kids don't notice, anyway)," Ware wrote. "With very little camera editing on the program, it also 'feels' more real."

PBS told the Tribune episodes of the show might eventually be posted online.

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