Donkey Hodie, the hit puppet series from Fred Rogers Productions and Spiffy Pictures, has been greenlit for a second season on PBS KIDS. The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions, the award-winning children’s educational media organization behind multiple well-loved, Emmy-winning PBS KIDS series, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Spiffy Pictures, the award-winning production company behind many acclaimed series for kids and families, including PBS KIDS’ Emmy-nominated animated hit Nature Cat. Inspired by original characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Donkey Hodie is a social-emotional learning series for kids ages 3-5 that empowers viewers to dream big and overcome obstacles through practicing skills including resilience, persistence, and problem solving. The second season of Donkey Hodie is expected to premiere in spring 2023 on PBS KIDS.
“Woven into every light-hearted Donkey Hodie story is the central theme of resilience, which is an essential skill for children — and it’s one that can be learned,” said Ellen Doherty, Chief Creative Officer for Fred Rogers Productions, who developed the show and serves as an executive producer. “Donkey and her pals model positivity and persistence through stories focusing on being flexible and adapting to change, cooperating with your friends, managing big feelings, and more. Giving young children examples of how to overcome obstacles is especially important now given the unique challenges of the last two years.”
“We are excited to tell more silly, surprising, and endearing stories as we dive deeper into these beloved characters’ backstories and introduce kids and their families to some new neighbors and locales of the whimsical world of Someplace Else,” said Adam Rudman and David Rudman, Co-Founders of Spiffy Pictures, who created the show and serve as executive producers.
“Since its premiere last year, Donkey Hodie has brought engaging stories full of fun, humor, and important life lessons to kids across the country, helping them to see a world of possibilities,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We couldn’t be happier to bring a second season of adventures from Donkey and her friends to PBS KIDS.”
Season 2 of Donkey Hodie will feature 25 half-hour episodes including two specials. This season will introduce viewers to new pals and locations in Someplace Else, a world where everyone is welcome and can pursue their big dreams. They’ll also learn more about the series’ main characters, Donkey Hodie, Purple Panda, Duck Duck, and Bob Dog. The new season will explore all-new stories while modeling and practicing key learning goals, including empathy, perspective-taking, understanding and managing feelings, and more.
Inspired by the funny, quirky side of children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers, Donkey Hodie is set in the whimsical land of Someplace Else. The imaginative puppet series follows the adventures of Donkey Hodie, an enthusiastic and charming go-getter who takes on each day with curiosity and resilience, and her pals: Purple Panda, her loyal and empathetic best friend who wears his big heart on his sleeve; Duck Duck, a practical, quick-witted young mallard who loves to figure things out; and Bob Dog, an energetic and eager canine who is always ready to fetch a ball or boogie to music.
In January 2022, Donkey Hodie was the #2 PBS KIDS series with Kids 2-8 and also reached 2.4 million parents of young children.* The series has earned nominations for a 2021 Television Critics Association Award (Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming); 2021 Kidscreen Award (Best Website: Digital – Preschool); and 2022 Writers Guild of America Award (Children’s Episodic, Long Form, and Specials).
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing is the publishing partner for the series with a wide range of books that began rolling out in December 2021. Licensing Street, the U.S. licensing agent for the brand, is also developing a full-scale merchandising program for Donkey Hodie. The debut range of toys from Jada Toys, the series’ master toy licensee, is set to begin arriving at retail next spring. Additionally, the first Donkey Hodie album, “Here Comes Donkey Hodie,” in partnership with Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division, will debut on April 8, 2022. The album will be available on all digital platforms and features 16 tracks from the series, including the theme song as well as three reimagined Fred Rogers songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.