'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' to Air Episode About Helping Kids Understand Coronavirus Pandemic

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You Sing Along with Me?" airs Aug. 17

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Photo: PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger and his friends are starting their next season by tackling the coronavirus pandemic — specifically, what it means for kids.

In the season 5 premiere special of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, airing next month, the titular animated preschooler explores how to handle his feelings when a fun local event is canceled over concerns about the global health crisis, according to a statement from PBS Kids.

"When Daniel learns he can't gather with all of his neighbors at the Neighborhood Carnival this year, it leads to a lot of big feelings and questions, including what to do when he misses the people he loves, how to keep himself and others healthy and how to find ways to enjoy the extra time at home with his family," the statement reads.

"Mom and Dad Tiger use new and fan-favorite songs from the series to help reassure him — as well as young viewers and their parents at home, who are encouraged to sing along!" it continues.

"As COVID-19 continues to pose challenges to families across the country, PBS Kids is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of children, parents, and caregivers," Lesli Rotenberg (Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children's Media and Education, PBS) says in the statement.

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Rotenberg continues, "Learning lies at the heart of our mission, and we've been proud to be able to step in and offer at-home learning solutions, content and resources, like this timely special from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, that reach kids where they are with age-appropriate lessons — especially in areas where families may have limited or no access to broadband internet."

The special is the first of five episodes set to air the week of Aug. 17, kicking off a season that "will showcase even more relatable storylines and fresh musical strategies to help keep preschoolers learning, growing and navigating the world around them," President and CEO of Fred Rogers Productions Paul Siefken says in the statement.

"In addition to the upcoming special, the season will include episodes about sudden changes at school, separation from family members, staying safe, hospital stays, respecting one's personal space, disappointment, generosity and grown-ups taking care of you," he adds.

A spin-off of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger premiered in 2012. Featuring nostalgic nods to the original show (including the mini red trolley and Daniel's red zip-up sweater), it focuses on the 4-year-old cub's daily life as he deals with disappointment and overcoming everyday obstacles from a deflated soccer ball to smushed snacks.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. PBS Kids

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Daniel Tiger is the latest PBS show to step in to help explain larger, important concepts that have been front and center over the past few months to children.

Lats month, Sesame Street and CNN teamed up to host a town hall titled Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, aimed at helping children and families discuss racism and the protests taking place nationwide.

Sesame Street and CNN also aired their The ABCs of COVID-19 program in April, which helped kids and their parents deal with issues surrounding the novel pandemic.

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You Sing Along with Me?" airs Aug. 17 on PBS Kids.

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