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TV Note: Rogers memorial part of day's broadcasts

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

On Saturday, the day Fred Rogers will be publicly remembered in a ceremony at Heinz Hall, WQED-TV will devote much of its broadcast day to reminiscences about the children's show host, who died of stomach cancer Feb. 27.

The memorial service will be broadcast live at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on WQED-TV, WPXI-TV, WQED-FM (89.3) and online at www.wqed.org/fm. The service will be replayed at 6 and 10 p.m. on WQED and at 7 p.m. Saturday on PCNC.

Stacy Smith of KDKA-TV and WQED's "On Q" and Patrice King Brown of KDKA-TV will host the memorial on WQED. On WPXI, David Johnson and Gina Redmond will anchor from the Channel 11 studio with Jodine Costanzo reporting from the Heinz Hall lobby.

The 90-minute memorial will feature nationally acclaimed organist Alan Morrison and speakers, including Teresa Heinz and PBS president Pat Mitchell.

At 4 p.m., WQED will premiere the two-hour documentary "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor," hosted and narrated by former "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" stagehand-turned-actor Michael Keaton. It will repeat Saturday at 8 p.m.

"America's Favorite Neighbor," with an additional hour of footage, will be available for purchase on DVD and VHS for $24.95 in a few weeks.

Both the memorial and the documentary will be offered to PBS stations for airing nationally.

At 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. Saturday, WQED will rebroadcast a re-edited version of the "Off Q" that aired the week Rogers died. It features interviews with some of Rogers' friends and co-workers.

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