In 2005, DVD releases of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
came out through traditional in-store retail channels via Anchor Bay: A Day At The Circus
and Adventures In Friendship
(including special versions of these titles spruced up with sweaters, Speedy Delivery toy trucks and the classic Trolley). Further releases weren't forthcoming, however, because there's just SO many episodes out there, and everybody has different favorites. How does a studio pick which ones to put on DVD? Well, it seems that the Fred Rogers Company has teamed up with Amazon's CreateSpace program to come up with a solution: you try to put all of them on DVD, but in a way that lets the fans (or their parents) pick which episodes to purchase...one by one!
Today Amazon/CreateSpace and The Fred Rogers Company have announced that beginning immediately Amazon is exclusively selling manufacture-on-demand (MOD) releases of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on DVD
, produced using the CreateSpace DVD-on-Demand program. Each disc contains a single half-hour episode (roughly 28 minutes), for $9.95 per title.
Expressing pride in working with The Fred Rogers Company, CreateSpace managing director Dana LoPiccolo-Giles said, "Our DVD on Demand technology will bring nostalgia to fans who grew up with Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
, while helping to make new 'neighbors' among today's kids and families." Over 100 episodes are available to order right away (you can use either the above-provided link, or the button link below) and additional DVD releases of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
are expected to be available at Amazon.com through CreateSpace in the coming months. Immediately below is a selected portion of today's press release heralding the official announcement, and at bottom you'll find a sample package cover from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - The First Program
(the original 1967 debut episode, which was aired in black-and-white).
The legacy lives on! CreateSpace, part of the Amazon.com, Inc. group of companies and The Fred Rogers Company today announced that they will release highly anticipated classic TV series content on DVD. The initial wave of shows from Fred Rogers, creator and host of the pioneering children's TV series "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" are newly available for sale on DVD exclusively via CreateSpace's DVD on Demand technology. In addition, the titles will be offered for digital sale through Amazon Video On Demand.
The unique CreateSpace DVD on Demand platform allows networks, studios and marketers such as The Fred Rogers Company to bring their TV content to a broad consumer base in a quick and cost-effective way since titles are manufactured only in direct response to customer demand. In addition, CreateSpace can distribute a wide range of content on-demand through Amazon.com and other channels, including Amazon Video On Demand.
"We are pleased to be able to present to today's audiences the enduring and innovative work of the incomparable Fred Rogers," said Bill Isler, president of The Fred Rogers Company. "Through the wonders of technology and the valuable CreateSpace manufacturing and distribution solution, we are able to share Fred's groundbreaking work with children like never before."
The first batch of 100 "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" episodes covers four decades of the series and includes shows that have not been seen for more than 30 years. The collection features five episodes from the first week of "Misterogers' Neighborhood," which premiered - in black and white - on Feb. 19, 1968, on National Educational Television (N.E.T.), a forerunner to PBS. (The name of the show was changed to the existing three-word format when it went to color in 1968.) The initial releases also include 80 "classic" and 15 "middle years" episodes, which have not aired since the '70s, with memorable shows such as "The Death of a Goldfish" and "Mister Rogers Talks About Divorce," featuring Rogers' remarkable skill in addressing sensitive topics with his young audience. Among the other programs now available are: "Mister Rogers as a Boy," "Caring for the Environment," "Mad Feelings," "Is Santa Claus Real?" and "Making Mistakes."
"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" has earned four Daytime Emmys and the distinction of being the longest-running children's TV show on public television. As a testament to the legacy of Rogers and the long-lasting appeal and importance of his "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," the series - now in its 43rd year of successive broadcast - continues to be seen by millions each weekend on PBS stations nationwide. Rogers received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 1997 Daytime Emmys and was recognized in 2002 with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, for his contributions to children's development and education using broadcast television.