Get ready to pull on your cardigan and visit the Neighborhood of Make-Believe: PBS children’s classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is returning to television.
Twitch, a live-streaming video platform and community for gamers, announced Thursday that it will stream 886 episodes of the children’s classic television show. The free 18-day marathon will stream live on Twitch TV beginning at noon PT/3 p.m. ET on May 15. The episodes will air consecutively, beginning with the show’s 1968 premiere, and the marathon will include several episodes that have only aired once and are unavailable online.
The marathon is part of Twitch’s efforts to support PBS and public television. The marathon will kick off with Fred Rogers’ famous Senate testimony about the value of public television, which recently celebrated its 48th anniversary and received renewed attention after Donald Trump proposed a budget that would eliminate funding for PBS. Throughout the marathon, Twitch will also host a fundraiser encouraging viewers to support their local PBS stations.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is the latest PBS show to stream on Twitch, joining Julia Child’s The French Chef and Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, as the platform works to expand its nongaming content. “From listening to feedback, it became clear that the Twitch community has not only embraced content which goes beyond gaming, they want more of it,” said Bill Moorier, head of creative at Twitch, in a statement. “We were drawn to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood because Fred Rogers was a positive voice in fostering inclusivity and diversity, and, like our streamers, he talked to the viewers as if they were in the room with him. While his show was geared toward children, his messages have universal appeal.”
PBS also expressed enthusiasm for the partnership. “Fred Rogers believed in the boundless potential of all children, and his landmark educational philosophy continues to guide our work today at PBS KIDS,” said Lesli Rotenberg, senior vice president and general manager of children’s media and education, in a statement. “We are excited to bring Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to the Twitch community in this special event, honoring Fred’s legacy, and encouraging fans to support the important work that local PBS stations do to help all children learn and succeed.”