The live streaming video platform Twitch has announced that it will be hosting a marathon of the beloved children's television program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood for 18 days straight, starting on May 15 at 12:00 PM PT / 9:00 AM ET / 8:00 AM CT. All 886 episodes from the entire series will be streamed live on Twitch's site.
Interestingly enough, the marathon is set to feature episodes that only aired once which aren't available online anywhere else, with Twitch planning to stream additional mini-marathons to follow. As it happens, the streaming platform will also be running a fundraising campaign during the 18 day broadcast in order to help support local PBS stations–which have run Mister Rogers' Neighborhood for 30-plus years–with Twitch's Head of Creative, Bill Moorier, professing his adoration for Fred Rogers and remarking upon his "universal appeal."
“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.”
The forthcoming airing of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood intends to follow up on the success of the Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting marathon back in 2015, with Twitch having listened to the positive community feedback from the event, which has spurred the platform to look into running even more non-gaming content. The Bob Ross marathon was so well-received that it was reported that 5.6 million viewers tuned in to watch.
For those unaware, Twitch currently hosts a wide array of content unrelated to video games, with some of the most popular channels focusing on what's known as social eating, which involves streamers simply having breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a snack while filming themselves. Plus, there's even been content on the site involving the channel Seebotschat featuring Google Home robots talking to one another.
Taking all of this into consideration, Twitch's decision to air Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ought to be a great antidote to the occasionally toxic online environment that so often permeates folks' communication with one another via the web. Hopefully, the marathon introduces Fred Rogers to a swathe of people who have never heard of him before and who deserve to have a neighbor as warm, kind, and empathetic as him.
Twitch's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood marathon begins on May 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM PT.