If you’ve ever wanted to retreat into childhood and live in Mister Rogers’ neighborhood for a while, your chance is coming.
On Thursday, the online streaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon and is mostly known for its videos of esports, announced it will air every single episode “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” over an 18-day period starting May 15. In total, 886 episodes of the beloved PBS show will air back-to-back.
The stream (available here, starting at 12 p.m. Pacific time on May 15) will begin with footage of Fred Rogers, the host of the show, testifying before a Senate committee about the value of public television, according to Variety, and then launch into a marathon that will include many episodes that “only aired once and and are unavailable elsewhere online,” according to Fortune.
The marathon is the result of a collaboration between Twitch, which has recently begun to expand its content into non-video games, and The Fred Rogers Company. Previously Twitch has hosted marathons of PBS shows “Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting” and “Julia Child’s The French Chef.”
“Fred Rogers created a blueprint for children’s television that still works today, and his messages of acceptance and inclusion remain just as timeless and relevant as they did when ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ first aired,” Paul Siefken, president and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, told Variety. “We are delighted to be working with Twitch to make the show available to fans, as well as reach a whole new whole new audience that did not grow up watching the program.”
During the marathon, Twitch, which has partnered with PBS, will provide links for viewers to donate to their local public TV stations, and the streaming platform has also seemingly acknowledged that the timing of the stream could be connected to President Donald Trump.
“Mister Rogers not only brings a different type of show into the mix, but it is coming at a time when the importance of PBS is very topical,” the company’s director of business development, Jane Weedon told Tech Crunch.
“While all of this retro content taps into the appeal of nostalgic programming, the other connecting threads are that these hosts are highly relatable and traffic in optimism.”
Trump has proposed slashing funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR. When Trump released his proposed budget in mid-March, footage of Rogers’ testimony in the Senate was revived by his critics as proof of the value of public television, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Rogers died in 2003, two years after his show went off the air.