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Few children's entertainers can hold a candle to Fred Rogers. The creator and star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood has been a force in children's television since1968, when the educational program premiered, and still has an impact even beyond its cancellation, still available in syndication on PBS in some areas. While Rogers sadly died in 2003, he remains a figure of inspiration and joy on the internet where he and his lessons have found a second life with fans posting inspirational quotes, and creating memes as well as wide-ranging fan art. So, basically, it's about time he got a biopic.
Deadline reports Treehouse Pictures has bought a Fred Rogers biopic spec script named for a lyric from his show's memorable opening theme: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Story details are currently being withheld, but considering the screenplay was penned by The Ellen DeGeneres Show staff writer Alexis Jolly, we're expecting this to be a heartwarming exploration of Rogers' life and works. Treehouse Pictures producer Justin Nappi bolsters this expectation by offering this statement:
“Fred Rogers was such an inspirational man for so many people. His keen ability to find the good in anyone, or anything, will make for a truly inspiring cinematic experience. In literally shaping the world around him to fit into his own unique perspective, he created what is arguably the most influential American children’s television show of all time.”
The soft-spoken star who famously wore cardigan sweaters knitted by his mother came to television with training in music and an ardent wish to change children's programming for the better. Ultimately, he was honored for doing just that with accolades that include induction in the Television Hall of Fame, two George Foster Peabody Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as the TV Critics Association, an actual star being named after him, and one of his iconic sweaters being placed in the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History.
Watch "Mister Rogers Remixed" below, remember the joy of Rogers, and have yourself a good cry: