Less ‘Mister Rogers’ in PBS’s future

After celebrating 40 years of national broadcasts in February, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be removed from PBS’ weekday program service this fall.

Currently, PBS beams the “Neighborhood” to member stations as part of its children’s programming block Monday through Friday. Individual stations can choose not to air it, but a majority of PBS stations still do, said executives at Oakland-based Family Communications Inc., the company founded by Fred Rogers to produce the series.

PBS estimates that last month the show was carried by 63 percent of its member stations, covering 79 percent of American TV households.

Come fall, PBS stations won’t receive the show daily; one episode per week will be sent.

The move comes five years after Mr. Rogers died in February 2003 of stomach cancer at age 74. Production of the “Neighborhood” had ended in December 2000 and the last original episodes aired in August 2001.

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