Mister Rogers' real neighborhood is Oakland, home to WQED in Pittsburgh , the first public television in the country and the "Neighborhood of Make Believe."
|Fred Rogers with a model of the "neighborhood" of the show that made him famous.|
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began airing in 1968 and ran for 895 episodes; the last set of new episodes was taped in December 2000 and began airing in August 2001. At its peak, in 1985, 8% of U.S households tuned in to the show.
Each episode began the same way: Mister Rogers is seen coming home, singing his theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", and changing into sneakers and a zippered cardigan sweater (he stated in an interview for Emmy TV that all of his sweaters were knitted by his mother).
In a typical episode, Rogers might have an earnest conversation with his television audience, interact with live guests, take a field trip to such places as a bakery or a music store, or watch a short film.
Typical video subjects included demonstrations of how such inanimate objects as bulldozers and crayons work or are manufactured.
Each episode included a trip to Rogers' "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" featuring a trolley with its own chiming theme song, a castle, and the kingdom's citizens, including King Friday XIII. The subjects discussed in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe often allowed further development of themes discussed in Mister Rogers' "real" neighborhood.
Mister Rogers often fed his fish during episodes. They were originally named Fennel and Frieda.
Typically, each week's episode explored a major theme, such as going to school for the first time.
Originally, most episodes ended with a song entitled "Tomorrow", and Friday episodes looked forward to the week ahead with an adapted version of "It's Such a Good Feeling." In later seasons, all episodes ended with "Feeling."