Donkey Hodie, a children’s show inspired by Fred Rogers, starts on PBS Kids May 3. Donkey Hodie is the granddaughter of the Donkey Hodie character from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The original puppet appeared in 59 episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Donkey Hodie “furthers the children’s TV pioneer’s mission of helping young viewers navigate the challenges of childhood,” said PBS Kids.
As her name suggests, the main character is a donkey. Purple Panda, Duck Duck and Bob Dog round out the cast. The original Donkey Hodie now appears as Grampy Hodie.
The series features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.
“We’re thrilled to bring Donkey Hodie’s engaging, character-driven stories full of adventure, imagination and music to PBS Kids,” said Linda Simensky, head of PBS Kids content. “As kids laugh and sing along with Donkey Hodie and her friends, they will learn important life lessons about teamwork, empathy and resilience to help them see a world full of possibilities.”
Adam Rudman and David Rudman, co-founders of Spiffy Pictures, created the show. They executive produce with Ellen Doherty, chief creative officer, Fred Rogers Productions.
“We are excited to introduce young viewers to Donkey Hodie and the world of Someplace Else,” said the Rudmans, whose credits include Nature Cat, Jack’s Big Music Show and Bunnytown. “We hope Donkey’s inherent positivity combined with the fun and inviting nature of the puppets will charm kids everywhere.”
Donkey Hodie is set in a place called Someplace Else, created by Rogers on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It targets children ages three to five.
“Perseverance is a skill that’s of extra importance for children right now,” said Doherty. “We hope Donkey and her pals will inspire kids to keep trying even when tasks get hard and to face challenges with an ‘I can do this’ attitude. The show will also help parents guide their children in becoming strong critical thinkers and problem solvers.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.