The production of ODD SQUAD UK, a new format of the original series and an official treaty co-production between Sinking Ship Entertainment and BBC Studios Kids & Family in association with CBBC, PBS KIDS, TVOKids, and SRC, was announced today. Fred Rogers Productions will distribute the series in the U.S. and SSE will take worldwide rights. The original hit multi-Emmy® Award-winning ODD SQUAD series, produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment and Fred Rogers Productions for PBS KIDS and TVOKids, launched in 2014. The brand has since grown to include more than 114 half-hour episodes, a feature film, digital games, two seasons of a digital shorts series, and a podcast as well as multiple publishing and merchandising partnerships as part of its expanding licensing program. Each season of the popular ODD SQUAD series features kid agents who use math to investigate strange occurrences, with episodes infused with comedy and fun.

ODD SQUAD UK, co-produced by BBC Studios Kids & Family and Sinking Ship Entertainment, features a brand-new world of oddness and group of agents with a predominantly British cast filmed exclusively in the UK. The format is a natural evolution of the brand, leveraging the popularity of the original series in the UK and consistently high ratings for CBBC. Twelve half-hour episodes of ODD SQUAD UK are currently in production and set for release in 2024.

“It’s been a pleasure co-producing this series of ODD SQUAD UK with Sinking Ship Entertainment,” said Cecilia Persson, Managing Director of BBC Studios Kids & Family. “It’s already a winning format, and this UK version has brought another sense of quirkiness and fun which has filtered through from script, to set, to screen.”

“We are thrilled to bring new agents and more oddness to our global fanbase,” said Blair Powers, Co-Founder and Partner at SSE. “The format takes what we love from the original series and finds its own voice thanks to the fantastic cast and capable hands of our co-production partners at BBC Studios Kids & Family.”

“We are excited to see how this new format of ODD SQUAD, the series that so many kids and families have loved since it first premiered nearly ten years ago, takes shape with Sinking Ship Entertainment and BBC Studios Kids & Family,” said Ellen Doherty, Chief Creative Officer for Fred Rogers Productions. “ODD SQUAD UK will take young audiences on delightfully ‘odd-some’ adventures, while helping to reinforce key math skills all along the way.”

The original ODD SQUAD, a live-action and CG hybrid series aimed at 4-8-year-old, known for its humor, engaging visual effects, and math-based entertainment was created by Tim McKeon (Helpsters, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls) and Adam Peltzman (Wonder Pets!, Peter Rabbit, Wallykazam!). The series has received a wide range of honors—from 17 Daytime Emmy Awards, including a 2019 win for Outstanding Children’s, Family Viewing Program, to five Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and a 2019 BAFTA Children’s Award for International Live Action.

ODD SQUAD has been sold in more than 200 countries around the world and is currently available in over 25 languages. With 14 online games, 8 apps available across different territories, as well as the “Odd Squadcast” podcast, and “OddTube” YouTube series, the brand’s digital reach extends to millions of viewers and game players monthly.




Creator and executive producer, Sonia Manzano, sat down with Los Angeles Times recently to talk about one very special guest star appearance in the new season of Alma's Way. Read more below and check out the full interview here. 

"When “Alma’s Way” returns for a second season on Monday, 6-year-old Alma Rivera (voiced by Summer Rose Castillo) and her younger brother, Junior (Neo Vela), will meet a very special former resident of their Bronx neighborhood — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The series comes from creator and executive producer Sonia Manzano, who played the beloved character Maria on “Sesame Street” for more than 40 years. Like Sotomayor, Manzano grew up in the Bronx and the series is based on her childhood. “We jokingly refer to each other as ‘the other Sonia from the Bronx,’” Manzano says about the Supreme Court justice.

The judge makes an appearance in a special two-part episode that kicks off Season 2. In the first segment, titled “Justice Sonia and Judge Alma,” Alma learns that solving disagreements is a judge’s job. In the second segment, “Justice Sonia and Umpire Alma,” Alma learns how to “call it like I see it” when she fears she has made the wrong call about a kickball game."




"Memories from our childhood are an interesting thing. Often we remember a sound, an image or a feeling. The memory embraces us and transports us back to another time.

Can a TV show stir visceral memories like that? When the PBS children’s series “Donkey Hodie” returns for a second season on Aug. 14, it’s going to try. The puppet-based series, which streams on PBS Kids and is broadcast on PBS affiliates, is a joint production of Fred Rogers Productions and Spiffy Pictures, and it follows the charming adventures of Donkey Hodie (played by puppeteer Haley Jenkins) and her best friends, Purple Panda (Frankie Cordero), Bob Dog (David Rudman) and Duck Duck (Stephanie D’Abruzzo). Donkey Hodie lives in the land of Someplace Else and is the granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” the groundbreaking children’s series that ran from 1968 to 2001."

Honoring the legacy of Fred Rogers is at the heart of what we do, and we are so excited that Trolley is joining Donkey and her pals in Someplace Else.

Read the entire article from the Los Angeles Times here.




In its annual round-up of Best TV Shows, Common Sense Media recognized Alma’s Way, FRP’s new preschool animated series on PBS KIDS. CSM praised the series’ strong social-emotional curriculum that encourages kids to pause and think when they're facing a tricky situation. They also call Alma—the determined 6-year-old from the Bronx—a great role model who is very relatable to preschoolers. Read more of their review here.

You can watch Alma’s Way daily on PBS KIDS or stream episodes anytime on the PBS KIDS Video Player in English and Spanish!



Tell us about yourself and how your career led you to work on Through the Woods.
I’m a city kid who fell in love with the natural world as a young adult. My career has included teaching math and science in NYC public schools (my hometown), leading environmental non-profit work in Pittsburgh parks (my current town), and trying to learn as much as I can about the more-than-human world and how we might engage children, youth, and families that live in cities in outdoor activities.

I was working as the Director of Education at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy when I was approached to be part of the team working on Through the Woods. Although I had never worked on a television program, I was thrilled to be part of this project because I knew it was a chance to reach even more families with the kinds of ideas and experiences we provided at the Frick Environmental Center.

My personal mission has long been to offer people opportunities to find beauty and wonder in nearby nature, and then to steward and care for the land and waters that surround us, just as the natural world cares for us. Through the Woods really reflects these ideals, which is why I was so excited to work on this.

What was your favorite television show growing up?
I was a huge fan of Fraggle Rock and Star Trek as a child, and I also spent countless hours in my teenage years watching videos on the new and exciting MTV.

What went into your role for an episode of Through the Woods?
I worked with the team to brainstorm what kind of backyard adventures might be possible for Rider and Wolfie and how they might interact with the plants and animals they discovered in wondrous and ethical ways. After the team developed scripts and visuals, I then came back in to review them and provide feedback. As a trained botanist, naturalist, and environmental educator, it mattered to me that the plants and animals were depicted realistically and that Rider and Wolfie could connect with them in ways that were playful, curious, and also careful. I was so impressed with the writers’ and animators’ willingness to attend to details that would make the show realistic and educational.

What is your favorite episode of Through the Woods?
They are all so beautiful, but if I have to pick one, I’d have to say, “A Froggy Day.” I like how Rider and Wolfie use all their senses to make observations about the frogs and how Grammie encourages Rider to use play and his imagination to help make sense of the frogs and their behaviors. But it’s hard to pick just one!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love being outdoors—hiking, biking, and kayaking are some of my favorite forms of recreation. But you can also find me reading on the couch or baking a pie for some rest and relaxation. I also love cooking and eating a big meal with my family.

As the weather gets colder, what is your favorite autumn activity?
Definitely hiking, which I love to do in the fall and all winter long. Once the leaves drop on the deciduous trees, vistas open up and you can really see the landforms of Western Pennsylvania. I love thinking about geological time and being able to see the shape of the land reminds me that the world is always transforming, even if it is happening at a scale that can be difficult for us as humans to see.

Stream Through the Woods for free anytime on PBS KIDS.

Pittsburgh, PA, June 1, 2021 – Fred Rogers Productions, the award-winning children’s entertainment company behind the much-loved, Emmy® Award-winning PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Odd Squad, and Peg + Cat, has secured $1 million in grant funding from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF) to support the production of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood as well as the launch of two new PBS KIDS series, Donkey Hodie, which premiered May 3, and Alma’s Way, coming this fall. Donkey Hodie is the new series inspired by characters from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Alma’s Way is the eagerly-awaited show created by Sonia Manzano, known to generations of viewers as “Maria” on Sesame Street.

“The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have been a valued, longtime champion of Fred Rogers Productions and public media, and we are very grateful for their support,” said Paul Siefken, President and CEO, Fred Rogers Productions. “The Foundations have helped us reach children with engaging, educational, and pro-social content that positively impact their lives every day, and we are happy to continue our longstanding partnership.”

“Public media sets the standard for excellent children’s programming, and Fred Rogers Productions continues to be a leader in this space,” said AVDF President and CEO, Michael Murray. “We are proud to support this high-quality programming that advances the social and emotional well-being of children, and also contributes to their appreciation of diversity and inclusion.”

A reliable favorite for preschoolers and their parents since its debut in 2012, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood centers on 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, who invites viewers to join him and his friends on their adventures as they explore the colorful Neighborhood of Make-
Believe. Irresistible musical strategies reinforce the unique theme of each episode. The executive producers of the popular animated series are Angela Santomero, Chief Creative Officer at 9 Story Media Group; Ellen Doherty, Chief Creative Officer of Fred Rogers Productions; and Vince Commisso, President & CEO, 9 Story Media Group.

Inspired by the funny, quirky side of children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers, Donkey Hodie is set in the whimsical world of Someplace Else. The imaginative puppet series follows the adventures of Donkey Hodie, a “can-do” yellow donkey, and her pals Purple Panda, Duck Duck, and Bob Dog. The show features new original music, along with reimagined versions of Fred Rogers’ songs, that underscores the stories’ positive messages. Now in production on 40 half-hour episodes, Donkey Hodie is created by Adam Rudman and David Rudman, co-founders of Spiffy Pictures, and developed by Ellen Doherty, Chief Creative Officer of Fred Rogers Productions. Executive producers are Ellen Doherty, Adam Rudman, and David Rudman.

Alma’s Way follows 6-year-old Alma Rivera, a proud, confident Puerto Rican girl who lives in the Bronx with her family among a diverse group of close-knit friends and community members. In every episode, Alma models self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and empathy, while encouraging kids to develop critical thinking skills and value their own ideas and questions. Currently in production are 40 half-hour episodes. Executive producers are Sonia Manzano and Ellen Doherty.

About The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations were organized in 1952 and are supported by two trusts established by Mr. Arthur Vining Davis. The Foundations are a legacy of Mr. Davis' successful corporate leadership, and they aim to honor his ambitious philanthropic vision. Since their inception, the Foundations have given over 3,800 grants totaling more than 300 million dollars. In addition to providing support to public media, the Foundations support inclusive higher education and healthcare, vibrant spiritual communities, and a clean environment. For more information visit

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 28 Emmy Awards among other important honors. Launching in 2021 on PBS KIDS are Donkey Hodie, the eagerly-anticipated puppet series inspired by the character from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; and 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




Can you share a little bit about yourself and what led you to work on children’s television shows?

I've always loved to pretend, so in my teens I went to acting school to pretend for as many hours out of the day as I could. We also did a lot of children's theater, and I wound up teaching acting to kids. After that, I went to university for radio and TV, and my first job out of school was working on a kids’ website. The upshot is that I’m drawn to the silliness, fun, and imagination of kids’ TV and interactive.

Can you talk a little bit about your favorite television show when you were growing up?

Oh gosh. Anything with one or all of the following: superheroes, spaceships, robots, disguises, and lasers. When I was really small, my favorite shows were Sesame Street and Canada’s version of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which was Mr. Dressup. Years later, I found out that Fred Rogers and Mr. Dressup (Ernie Coombs) were friends from when they worked on different children’s shows in the U.S. and Canada.

What are the steps that go into your role on Odd Squad?

I write instructions and voice-over (VO) for our games. Being happily immersed in the Odd Squad story world helps me hear the voices of whichever characters are in the game. Directing our amazing actors in their VO session for interactive is tons of fun and lets me get back to my roots as an acting teacher. But it has certainly been a challenge since the pandemic started.

The other fun thing is that everyone on the team contributes ideas to the game. Usually I’ve seen rough-cuts of all the episodes and can suggest new villains or oddness that might make a game a bit “Odd Squad-ier.” One of our recent virtual meetings revolved around whether a game-level was going to end with a swirling inter-dimensional vortex or merely a giant robot.

What’s your favorite episode of Odd Squad?

I really love how big the Odd Squad universe is. Two of my favorite episodes are “Best Seats in the House” and “Hands On An Office Chair.” In both of these, Ms. O is in the middle of amazing missions that mostly happen off-screen. We find out she has her own tube entrance in her office and see her putting on scuba gear and sky-diving equipment, but we only see tiny moments of the actual missions, which are all fantastic. I love these episodes because we get wonderful hints at the story we’re not seeing, and the rest of it is left to our imaginations.

What do you like to do (hobbies, etc.) when you’re not working on the show?

I read a fair bit and also noodle around on guitar and ukulele—in short anything that reduces the amount of time I spend looking at glowing screens (my eyes just can’t take it any more). I’ve also started showing my 12-year-old how to use hand-tools, so every couple of weeks we try to bash together something made out of wood scraps.


New episodes of Odd Squad premiere in July.



Can you share a little bit about yourself and what led you to work as a puppeteer?

Love to! Growing up in Matthews, North Carolina, I didn’t have a clue that I was going to be a puppeteer. I didn’t even know that it was a career choice! I just knew that I spent all of my allowance on puppets, and every stuffed animal had feelings and a voice and came to life the second I left the room. It wasn’t until I was attending the Disney College Program in Florida that I had my first puppeteering job as Flounder in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid stage show. I was hooked! (No pun intended.)

Can you talk a little bit about your favorite television show when you were growing up?

It was a toss-up between Lamb Chop’s Play-Along and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I still remember sitting in front of the TV with my family while Shari Lewis taught us how to fold a dollar bill into a fish. We can still do it! Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood holds such a special place in my heart, too. I loved that moment when the camera would follow Trolley into the tunnel. I always wanted to know what happened in that dark space between the time that the trolley disappeared into the tunnel to its arrival in the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Now I know, and spoilers, it’s magic!

What’s one of your favorite–or most unexpected–things about playing Donkey Hodie so far? Could also be a favorite moment or episode. (Include as many as you’d like!) 

I got to ride a giant Potato-Pirate Ship for an entire episode, which was incredibly fun and unexpected! When I read the script for that episode, I assumed that the characters would be standing behind a flat potato/ship set piece, but our amazing art department actually built a potato-shaped pirate ship that rolled around the set! I never knew you could get seasick from riding a potato. Turns out, you can.

How are you like Donkey, and how are you different?

Donkey’s biggest priorities are fun and friendship, and I hope that, like Donkey, I’m a good friend. My friends, my family, my husband, they all mean everything to me, and I’m happiest when I’ve made them my priority. Unlike Donkey, I’m not much of a morning person.

What do you like to do (hobbies, etc.) when you’re not working on the show?

Art! I really enjoy sculpting and wood burning.  I’m very fidgety, and having something to mold in my hands makes me feel both hyper-focused and relaxed. I’m also a huge lover of pigeons! They are smart, sweet, ridiculously uncoordinated little birds. I’ve spent some time volunteering for a wildlife rehab center in NYC, the Wild Bird Fund, where I’ve worked with pigeons close up, and they truly are sweet creatures. Rehabbers lovingly refer to them as the “dogs of the bird world” because they just want to be pet!

What is your favorite nod/Easter egg to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the new series?

My favorite Easter egg is definitely the fish tank in Donkey’s windmill! The moment in every Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episode where he sprinkles fish food into the tank is so simple and beautiful. No matter what’s going on in your day, you still have to take care of those who need you. You gotta feed the fish!

You went to college in Pittsburgh! You also worked on the Tom Hanks film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which was filmed here. Can you share one of your favorite Pittsburgh stories or favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?

First things first, you need to go to Pamela’s Diner and get the crêpe pancakes. When I was working on It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, every morning the puppeteers would walk to the Pamela’s near the Heinz Museum and get those pancakes. They are life changing. A perfect day in Pittsburgh wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Cathedral of Learning for a tour of the Nationality Rooms. These rooms are all working classrooms, each designed to represent all the different nationalities that settled in the Pittsburgh area, and are all funded and designed by the nation represented. My personal favorite is the Syria-Lebanon room. It’s beautiful!


Donkey Hodie premieres Monday, May 3.



Can you share a little bit about yourself and what led you to work on children’s television shows?

As a child I wanted to be a writer even before I could really read. I would always make my parents read me the "about the author" page in the back of my Arthur books, and it inspired me to want to be Marc Brown when I grew up! My love of storytelling grew as I did, and when I was eleven, I picked up a video camera and realized that I could make these stories on paper come to life on screen. I was a kid myself when I started wanting to tell stories, and I never grew out of that child-like wonder. I studied Film and Media at Stanford University and then received my MFA in Film & Television Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. What makes me most passionate about children’s media is the ability to go beyond entertainment and teach important socio-emotional lessons that children take with them long after the television is turned off. Watching my little nieces and nephews use Daniel Tiger strategies to deal with their big feelings is the most rewarding part of working on this series.

Can you talk a little bit about your favorite television show when you were growing up?

Arthur! When I discovered that my favorite book series was now on television, you could say I was obsessed! I devoured Arthur episodes and when my parents made me turn the TV off, I would write up my own story ideas and play them out with my stuffed animals. I loved all of the kid-relatable lessons on the show and think it’s so wonderful that the series is still on PBS KIDS today.

What are the steps that go into your role for an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?

As a staff writer and associate producer on the series, I get to be involved in the show from the first kernel of an idea all the way through to the final mix of the episode. On the writing end, my days are filled with brainstorming, writing, table reads, and research. Spending time watching our littlest viewers during research sessions always reminds me why I love this job. On the production side, I review music, designs, voice-over records, animatics and animation. This show is really a team effort and what makes Daniel Tiger so great is the collaboration between our teams in New York, Toronto, Fred Rogers Productions, and PBS.

Can you share a little bit about your favorite episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?

One of my favorite episodes to work on was the “Won’t You Sing Along with Me” special. Keeping the Fred Rogers quote in mind, “...anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary,” we aimed to address the big questions our littlest viewers and their families are facing during the pandemic. During such an uncertain time, it was so rewarding to put our efforts into creating this special for families (in such a short timeline and all from home!). I particularly loved how many strategies we were able to incorporate into this one special.

What do you like to do (hobbies, etc.) when you’re not working on the show?

I have 8 nephews and 2 nieces all under the age of 6, so when I’m not working on the show, I love watching it with them and getting inspiration for future episodes! I’m also a big musical theater fan and love to travel (of course, pre-pandemic!).

Can you share your experience on the upcoming episodes revolving around Max and creating a character that is autistic?

Bringing Max into our neighborhood has been such a labor of love from all departments—from our consultants and advisors to our voice actor Israel Thomas-Bruce, who helped bring the character to life. Representation is so important in children’s media, and we are excited for our viewers to see Max and Daniel’s friendship on screen.


New episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood premiere April 5.




*This article is originally from an exclusive interview with

There's a new kid on the block!

On April 5, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood will welcome a new character, a young boy named Max, who has Autism. Max is Teacher Harriet's nephew, and like many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder, he is sensitive to overwhelming stimuli like loud sounds, bright flashing lights and uncomfortable fabrics, according to a release.

"It can also take more time for him to warm up to new friends and experience," the release continues, "and he sometimes prefers to play on his own." Like many kids, Max is a big fan of numbers, buses and bugs — plus his big sister, Amira, who is also joining the animated cast.

Daniel Tiger and his friends will learn what they can do to help make situations calmer so Max can play, too. See Daniel welcome Max into the fold in the clip below.

"We're so excited to introduce Max to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and help even more kids feel represented and included on TV," Chris Loggins, supervising producer at Fred Rogers Productions, tells PEOPLE. "It's also important for young viewers to understand that some friends have different needs and may learn, play and communicate in their own ways."

Max is voiced by newcomer Israel Thomas-Bruce, a 13-year-old eighth-grader who was diagnosed with ASD when he was 4. According to a release, he's "an active, smart and ambitious teenager who is very social and loves to tell jokes, play basketball and video games and hang out with his friends."

Loggins tells PEOPLE it was "of utmost importance" to have an actor with ASD voice Max. To make sure they developed the character correctly, show staff consulted with the University of Missouri's Dr. Wes Dotson — who has conducted research that measures skill development in children with autism after watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood — and Autism Society.

Max will be a recurring character on the show, and Loggins says representation on the series will only continue to grow. "That continues to be one of our guiding principles at Fred Rogers Productions," he shares. "There is always room for more friends in the Neighborhood!"

Watch an exclusive clip from the episode at!