March 20th, 2015

Fred McFeely Rogers summered in a modest, gray, shake shingled house on the edge of Nantucket. My mother rented a cottage next door. So Mister Rogers really was my neighbor. On the afternoon of our first meeting, Mister Rogers asked me about my job as an MTV News producer. I felt exposed and a tiny-bit […]

10 Inspirational Mister Rogers Quotes To Get You Through This (And Any) Year
January 4th, 2015

Mister Rogers certainly ranks amongst America’s most-quotable television icons. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was carefully-scripted and thoroughly-rehearsed based on meticulous research. And by all accounts (including my own), he was equally engaging, inspiring and memorable in person. So when, in our film, “Mister Rogers & Me,” my brother and I set out to document how he […]

Mister Rogers & Me” Wins Award
December 12th, 2014

Mister Rogers & Me won an American Public Television Programming Excellence Award! The award was presented at APT’s Fall Marketplace during which PBS stations from around the country gathered to celebrate previously and soon-to-air programming. The Excellence Award honors “a select few of the best programs distributed last year… for their originality, execution, creativity, scope […]

Why “Mister Rogers & Me” Was Added To 19 Stations 4 Years After Its Premiere
February 22nd, 2014

PBS stations from Sacramento, San Diego and Portland, to Cleveland, Madison and Des Moines will celebrate Mister Rogers’ 86th birthday and enduring legacy with premiers of “Mister Rogers & Me” throughout the spring. In all, our documentary will premiere in 19 markets in the next six months, nearly four years after the official “Mister Rogers […]

Iowa Homecoming For “Mister Rogers & Me”
February 17th, 2014

I’m bringing Mister Rogers home. While it’s true that I was born in Iowa City, Iowa, and that it’s how I answer the question, “Where ya’ from?” The truth is, I wasn’t there long; my father left for a teaching job in Waldorf, Maryland, the next afternoon. My mother, brother (then pushing three-years-old) and I […]

Mister Rogers Goes Hollywood With Tim Madigan… And MTV?
September 27th, 2013

“Mister Rogers & Me” premiered in March 20, 2012. It was a whirlwind of message spreading: tv, radio, newspaper and internet interviews, premiere screenings and parties from New York to Los Angeles. Lots of smiling faces, lots of talking, but very little sleep, and very, very few moments of calm. My favorite was one Chris […]

Amy Hollingsworth’s Revealing “Letters”
June 23rd, 2013

Author Amy Hollingsworth was a critical to the making of “Mister Rogers & Me.” Amy’s book, “The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers,” arrived unexpectedly in the early days of planning our documentary. At the time, we had little beyond PBS’ “America’s Favorite Neighbor” documentary and some random Internet searches to provide us background or direction. […]

Mister Rogers’ Really Big Cardigan
March 20th, 2013

Mister Rogers touched millions of lives. Pittsburgh native, Alicia Kachmar — the woman behind the awesome, thoughtful “yarn bomb” of Mister Rogers’ North Shore statue — is one. The artist (an freelance writer, Etsy shop owner, Today Show craft maker, craft book author, and college tour copywriter who confesses that she drinks a lot of […]

Remembering Mister Rogers, Ten Years Later
February 27th, 2013

It was ten-years-ago this morning that NPR broke the news of Mister Rogers’ death. I was crestfallen, having only recently met the man himself. I was a young, MTV producer at the time, and spent the bulk of my day writing a remembrance, then emailing to every publication I could imagine. Of course most, like […]

Mister Rogers: ‘Look For The Helpers’ In Times Of Disaster
December 18th, 2012

As Americans wrestled with the unthinkable murder of some twenty first graders last week, Mister Rogers’ sage wisdom returned to provide a deep and simple salve. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” he said in a highly viral image “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for […]

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  • Benjamin Wagner first met “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” creator and star, Fred Rogers, at Rogers’ summer home on Nantucket, Massachusetts. His mother rented the cottage next door, so Mister Rogers really was his neighbor. On the afternoon of their first meeting, “America’s Favorite Neighbor” asked the young journalist about his job as an MTV News producer.  Wagner felt exposed and a tiny-bit embarrassed, a PBS mind in a jump-cut, sound-bit MTV world. Mister Rogers said warml ...
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