The 2022 Variety Family and Entertainment Impact Report lists Chief Creative Officer for Fred Rogers Productions, Ellen Doherty. 

Doherty, an Emmy Award-winning producer with more than 20 years of experience in children’s entertainment, oversees the creation of television and digital content for the company’s numerous PBS programs, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat,” “Odd Squad,” “Donkey Hodie” and “Alma’s Way.” She also created and serves as head writer and executive producer of the award-winning “Through the Woods,” which is a short-form series that revolves around nature. “Many of the stories and characters from our childhood stay with us always, so making good stuff for growing minds and growing hearts offers opportunities for long-lasting impact,” Doherty says.

Check out the entire article here.

 A new collection of products from Donkey Hodie, the hit preschool puppet series, will be introduced nationwide this year. Fred Rogers Productions, the award-winning children’s educational media organization behind multiple Emmy®-winning PBS KIDS series, and Licensing Street, licensing agent for the show, have partnered to secure deals with top brands in a variety of categories. The debut Donkey Hodie collection, which will include apparel from Komar and Mad Engine, as well as costumes from Rubies, is set to launch this fall.

“Consumer demand for Donkey Hodie products has been high since the series debut and we’re excited to welcome these best-in-class licensees to the Donkey Hodie family,” said Matt Shiels, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Fred Rogers Productions. “They are sure to help extend the whimsical and huggable world of Donkey Hodie so children can create their own imaginative series-themed adventures.”

Donkey Hodie is a winner with kids and families,” said Jason Korfine, Partner at Licensing Street. “Just like viewers who are drawn to the series, licensees have been eager to join in, too, and we’re delighted to be working with Komar, Mad Engine, and Rubies to offer new series-inspired products for fans everywhere.”

The first Donkey Hodie products heading to retail include:

  • Komar – Sleepwear
  • Mad Engine – T-shirts and apparel
  • Rubies – Costumes and role-play

In addition, Jada Toys, master toy partner, will introduce a range of Donkey Hodie toys, including highly anticipated feature plush. Toys and additional character plush are expected later this year.






Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to working in game design?

I’m a goofy, nerdy senior digital project manager at Curious Media, one of Fred Rogers Productions’ partners. After going to school for marketing and advertising management, I began my career working as a video and audio producer for advertising agencies in Portland, OR. Later I transitioned into an ever-expanding role at a production and post house where I did many things, but mostly video production for clients like Freightliner, Providence Health System, Kaiser Permanente, and Oregon Lottery. Eventually I moved to Boise, Idaho and got my current position at Curious in 2019. I am very passionate about making edutainment games for kids and the vast number of kids that I get to help teach basic skills to in my job.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

When I was growing up, I truly was a PBS kid! Starting at age 3, my dad would pick me up after school and take me to his company. I would sit under a desk with a 5” black and white TV and watch Sesame StreetElectric Company, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood while waiting for him to wrap up his work.

What goes into your role in the creation of digital content for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?

Since partnering with Fred Rogers Productions, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood app, Donkey Hodie’s award-winning website, six games for Donkey Hodie, and just completing a Daniel Tiger goes to the dentist game. In so doing, I work with the fantastic producers at FRP and PBS KIDS, and our creative director at Curious to understand the curriculum and focus, and design a game around it that meets the needs of all and will be fun and replayable for the target aged users. Once we have a concept, I write up a game design document and present that to both FRP/PBS and our internal teams. We do a kickoff meeting (we do one for each milestone internally), and one of our designers will make the first round of wireframes, which I will share with the client. We then incorporate their changes and make another round. Once we have the flow nailed down, we move on to designs, of which there are three rounds with client feedback. Then we move on to development, where Curious will make an Alpha, Beta, QA, bug fix verification build, then a Gold Master Candidate. Throughout all this, my role is to liaise with the client, making sure we’re fulfilling their vision while watching scope, budget, and timeline; in addition to directing those in Curious’ various departments (Illustration, Design, Animation, Development, Sound) with clear direction on what they need to do to deliver the best product on time and on budget.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I have a myriad of activities. I love spending time with my (almost adult now) kidlet, playing VR, or reading Norse mythology by the fire. I have a wonderful friend group here where we do all kinds of activities like game nights, trivia, gallivanting around our great city. I also love to cook for people and read—mostly Star Wars books and fantasy.

Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television.

I had originally planned to go to law school to study corporate law, but when one of my university professors allowed me to do a painting in lieu of an essay, I jumped at the chance. I had always loved art and thought it would be a wonderful change of pace. That one painting ended up changing the course of my career as it reignited my love of art and inspired me to enroll in the Sheridan Animation program instead of applying to law school. Cartoons had such an impact on my childhood, as they allow you to jump into fantastical worlds while the characters still feel real and relatable. I wanted to be a part of creating those worlds and characters for the next generation of kids. After graduating from Sheridan Animation, I started out in the industry as an animator and then slowly transitioned into production. This allowed me to support a team of incredible artists and to be able to touch and explore every aspect of production from the first script to the final picture being sent out into the world to be enjoyed.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

This is a very challenging question! I had two favorite shows that I watched as a young child. Winnie the Pooh and Rupert. I loved the stories of Rupert Bear because he went on these incredible and fantastical adventures, always meeting new, fun, and interesting friends along the way. I couldn’t wait to tune in every week to see what would happen. Winnie the Pooh, on the other hand, showed lovely and multifaceted relationships between a group of friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. You really got to know each character and see that none of them were what they may initially have seemed. Rabbit could appear rational, pragmatic and a bit critical, but deep down also cared for his friends. Tigger may seem initially loud, brash, and boisterous, always happy and full of energy, but he, too, could feel insecure and sad. I could see myself and the people around me in these characters, and it taught me that people are never just one thing. Both shows had a beautiful watercolor and children's book styles, which to this day holds a special place in my heart.

Describe your role on Alma’s Way.

As the line producer, I am responsible for overseeing each episode through all stages of production from initial scripting to the final picture delivery. I work hard to maintain the delicate balance between our team pushing the limits of creatively to produce an incredible show, while also maintaining our schedule and assumptions. I track line counts and speaking roles in scripts, track ditties, work with our composers, oversee casting, and record sessions. I oversee all of our design departments, leicas, and picture deliveries. I monitor all production activities between our multiple studios- (i.e studios in Canada, Colombia and Chile). I strive to ensure all of our artists have the tools and resources required to flourish.

What is your favorite episode of Alma’s Way?

My favorite episode of Alma’s Way is "Anniversary Surprise." I love all of the wonderful comedic moments sprinkled throughout the episode. From when Eddie and Alma notice that Tia Gloria and Uncle Nestor’s favorite song seems to be playing everywhere they go, to the moment where Junior and Abuelo are almost caught in the act of decorating, but thanks to Alma are able to sneak away just in time. This episode is full of fun and comedy, and in the end through all of the humor, Alma realizes that the most important part of their anniversary is simply being together.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

When I am not working on Alma’s Way, I like to explore food. I have always loved trying all different kinds of food since I was a child, this also turned into a love of cooking. I enjoy playing with different flavors and textures to see what interesting dishes I can create. When I am not eating, I enjoy curling up with a cup of tea and watching a good murder mystery. Poirot, Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, Midsomer Murders, and Murder She Wrote being some of my favorites!

Kidscreen announced that Fred Rogers Productions has earned the #9 spot in the Production category of their annual Hot 50 honors. The Hot 50 rankings are the results of votes from our peers in the children's media industry.

We are grateful to share these kudos with our production partners, many of whom are fellow honorees.

Kidscreen magazine is one of the premiere trades that covers children's media. The organization also holds an annual summit that brings together companies from across the children's media industry.

Read more to see the full line-up on here..

Tell us about yourself and your role as Associate Producer of Donkey Hodie.

My role with Donkey Hodie is an assortment of responsibilities that help get an episode from story premise to distribution. I gather feedback from our child development advisors that inform our scripts, track video cuts as they get delivered, and give the show a last look before it is distributed. I also lend input on things like social media posts, international voice casting, captioning, descriptive video, and more. I love that I get to be there each step of the way until I can  stream a finalized show online or watch on the TV! 

What led you to working in children’s media?

I’ve always enjoyed working with children and have been lucky enough to merge that with my background in broadcast journalism and public media. 

One of my early jobs was as an education reporter for a local newspaper. Keeping track of what was happening in 22 school districts opened my eyes to the educational needs of children and the struggles of their families and teachers to meet those demands. 

A few years and a master's degree in public media later, I found myself producing a children’s news show out of the Cleveland PBS station. I worked in that role for five years and loved being able to see how children absorb information and turn it into action in their own lives. 

Now hearing testimonies from parents about how they use songs and strategies from Donkey Hodie to help their children is what makes my job extra rewarding.

What is your favorite thing about working at Fred Rogers Productions?

The culture here is so refreshing. Everyone at Fred Rogers Productions is genuinely kind and passionate about their work. It is amazing to have creative energy combined with mutual respect and value for one another.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, you can find me traveling, visiting art museums, buying houseplants, or doing something creative. I’ve been deep in pottery for the last several years, and those classes keep me pretty busy (ask me about my recent attempts to make a teapot). My husband Vincent and I are also foodies. We cook just about every meal we eat. We’re new to Pittsburgh, by way of Youngstown and Cleveland,  so we’ve been on the hunt for our new favorite restaurants, too!

Do you have any special holiday traditions?

Christmas Eve is when most of my family traditions happen. Every year, my family dresses up to attend a candlelight service at church. When we were little, I remember competing with my siblings to see who could get their candle to burn the longest — impressive that the pews never caught fire! Then we head back home to eat Chinese takeout. My husband’s family also has a big gathering on Christmas Eve that ends with steak and lobster. Nowadays, it is a mix of both traditions but always full of family and food.

Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work in children’s television.

I had a pretty winding path to get to my place in children’s television, working as a chef, nanny, and personal assistant before beginning my film career in documentaries. I joined Sinking Ship in 2017 as the Production Coordinator on Odd Squad Season 2, which was my first kids' TV experience.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

I really loved Wishbone when I was little. There was something about that dog in these fantastic situations, I secretly hoped that my puppy was also having these epic adventures when I wasn’t around!

Describe your role on Odd Squad.

I started out as the Production Coordinator, working with the cast and crew to make sure that everyone was in the right place, at the right time, and that we had everything we needed. Since then my role has evolved to Director of Partnerships for Sinking Ship Entertainment, where I handle a number of things, but one of them is working closely with Fred Rogers Productions on Odd Squad marketing, social media, and things like that. 

What is your favorite episode of Odd Squad?

There are so many great ones! The big epic two-parter episodes are always amazing, like "Who is Agent Otis?" but I think my favorite episode is "The Scientist." Oona is so funny trapped in the alternate dimension!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to cook, go for walks with my dog, and hang out with my kids!

Fred Rogers Productions is pleased to announce six Emmy nominations for 2022. We are very proud to share this honor with our production partners 9 Story Media Group, Pipeline Studios, Sinking Ship Entertainment, and Spiffy Pictures.



Alma’s Way

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood



Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood



Donkey Hodie



Odd Squad



Odd Squad

Pittsburgh, PA, October 24, 2022 – Fred Rogers Productions, the award-winning children’s educational media organization behind multiple well-loved, Emmy®-winning PBS KIDS series, has named Mallory Mbalia to the newly created position of Director of Learning and Education. In her new role, Mbalia will work to expand the company’s “neighborhood” of educational partners and advisors as well as collaborate with its production; marketing, communications, and engagement; fundraising; and licensing teams. She reports to President & CEO Paul Siefken. 

“We are excited to welcome Mallory to the team and look forward to tapping into her expertise to help us realize our educational goals, now and in the future,” said Siefken. “Mallory is respected throughout both the public television and education communities for connecting content to the classroom and to parents and caregivers, and her experience will translate perfectly to our work in support of children and their families.” 

"Since I was a little girl, I have felt a part of the ‘neighborhood,’” said Mbalia. “Mister Rogers had a beautiful way of making every child feel special every day. To be a part of such an impactful cross-generational organization is a dream come true and I look forward to contributing to its mission through my work.” 

Before joining Fred Rogers Productions, Mbalia was Director of Education at PBS North Carolina in Education and Innovation, where she created and delivered educational initiatives statewide for educators, parents and caregivers, and children of all ages. In 2018, she was named a PBS Digital Innovator All Star for her work as an education outreach trainer. Prior to her tenure as a Director at PBS NC, Mbalia was an assistant elementary school principal after starting her career as a kindergarten teacher. 

Mbalia holds two M.S. degrees, one in School Administration from North Carolina State University and the other in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix, as well as a B.S. in Human Development with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Howard University. 

About Fred Rogers Productions 

Fred Rogers Productions was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, it created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program and extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health while supporting parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals in their work with children. Fred Rogers Productions continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media and engages new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly rated children’s series, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, Odd Squad, and Through the Woods, have earned 30 Emmy® Awards among other important honors. Newly launched in 2021 on PBS KIDS is Donkey Hodie, the innovative puppet series inspired by characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; and most recently Alma’s Way, an animated series created by Sonia Manzano, known to generations of children and adults as “Maria” on Sesame Street. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

# # # 

Press contacts: 

Grand Communications (for Fred Rogers Productions) 

Alison Grand 

212-584-1133; Laura Liebeck 


Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to working in children’s television?

I’m a child of the 1980s, meaning I was raised in a decade that is a standout in terms of iconic pop culture. Blockbuster movies, comics, and Saturday morning cartoons inspired imaginative play and sparked a love for drawing. I was lucky enough to have parents who identified and encouraged this ambition, and they guided me towards a nearby arts-centric high school that had an animation course! Demo reel in hand, I was off to Sheridan College, and from there entered the industry as a designer.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

The classic Warner Bros. animated shorts! More specifically, the Chuck Jones canon. The mixture of gag-driven comedic timing and masterful, yet minimalistic, design work really caught my eye and influences my design sensibilities in a powerful way. That said, PBS was always on at our house, so my young mind was fed a balanced diet of incredibly thought-provoking programs like Sesame StreetMystery!, and of course, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.  So, working with PBS, Fred Rogers Productions, Sonia Manzano, and GBH, my career has now come full circle and I’m incredibly grateful.

Describe your role on Alma’s Way.

It’s a two-tiered role and requires some context. A few years ago, Ellen Doherty (FRP’s chief creative officer) contacted Pipeline Studios and tasked us with presenting to her and her team a creative brief detailing specifically how the studio proposed bringing Alma’s Way to life. Ellen and Alma’s Way creator Sonia Manzano already had a solid foundation but were looking to the Pipeline team to do what we do best: enhance and elevate properties via creative and technical innovation, and attention to detail. At this stage in the development process, I served as the creative director, so it was my job to get inside Ellen and Sonia’s minds (via asking specific questions and listening attentively) to inherit their vision and fully understand what was of critical importance to them—and to the series as well—and then help make it a reality. Alma’s Way is a very unique family portrait—a series which we quickly identified as demanding a very unique yet highly organic approach to its production. We wanted to build upon the core themes, values, and concepts of the series to both engage the audience and effectively fulfill its storytelling ambitions. Aligned on the series’ overall vision, we formulated a custom recipe of creative, innovative elements and applied them strategically.  From there we assembled a hand-picked team of artists and technicians from across Pipeline Studio’s highly diverse teams in Canada, Colombia, and Chile to bring this unique recipe and vision to life. Needless to say, our hard work paid off, as Ellen, Sonia, Fred Rogers Productions, and PBS were thrilled by our proposal, and we moved into series production. Once this happens, I then shift into a supervising producer position. Along with an incredibly dedicated and highly skilled team, I help guide the series and ensure to our partners that the unique recipe of creativity and innovation continues forward and also elevates over time. I really can’t say enough about how passionate, caring, and committed the Pipeline Studios’ Alma’s Way team is to its long-term success! I’m incredibly proud of the series, and its positive messaging, but dare not mention specific crew members who go the extra mile, as I’d literally have to mention everyone!

What’s your favorite episode of Alma’s Way?

That’s a tough question, as they are each endearing and entertaining in their own respective rights. Since we’re nearing Halloween, which I’m a big fan of, I’ll go with “Haunted Hallway” or “Trick or Treatasaurus”!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I’m a huge music fan and collect guitars, and I do try to get some strumming action in when time affords, but I also enjoy being a dad to an energetic and imaginative 6-year-old daughter who is starting to show an affinity for art and music as well. (She’s also a big fan of Alma’s Way!) As I mentioned previously, I’m very grateful for the guidance that has helped shape my career, and I strongly believe in giving back to the community and helping others who may need some extra support. Thus, I volunteer as a career counsellor within YMCA’s Newcomer Mentorship program, which is designed to match newcomer professionals with established professionals to share information, feedback, industry insights and offer tips in navigating their chosen profession here in their new home of Canada. It can make a big difference to someone who’s restarting their career in a new country and for me, it nourishes the soul!