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Daniel Tiger, Where Have You Gone?


I don’t mean to alarm you, but have you checked Amazon Prime lately? All but the first two seasons of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (DT) are no longer available with your membership. Cue the preschool crew sobs!

My heart *SANK* when I first discovered the erasure after trying to cue up the latest episode for my preschooler. Honestly, DT is the most watched program in our house, and at three, my younger daughter is in the heart of his target audience. We love the songs (and there is a song for every occasion, almost like there’s a Seinfeld reference for every grown-up situation). She was only in the middle of season five, and if I’d known it was going away, we would have binged a lot more to give her a fuller experience!

For $5 extra per month, you can subscribe to PBS Kids through Amazon, but that’s an additional $60/year on top of the base $120/year you pony up for Prime. I still can’t decide if it’s worth it! If you purchase seasons outright, which are $8-15 depending on the number of episodes, the cost totals more than $100, even assuming you don’t buy the seasons that are still available on Prime. But in theory, for the one-time cost, you have the episodes forever, well as long as Amazon lasts I guess. My seven year old thinks I should just buy the seasons for her little sister, but neither of them have a real strong concept of money, which is a post for another day.

Adding to the aggravation is that Daniel Tiger is a program from PBS, i.e. public television that is paid in part by taxes. Admittedly, Congress doesn’t fund public media like I believe it should, and deals like this one with Amazon are a way to fill the funding gaps. But it is still annoying to pay for a show that we can watch for free via antenna (and that’s how we watch any non-streaming TV at our house). I’m an on-demand kind of mama, especially when it comes to shows, and I love the ability to download an episode to go, especially for long road trips or carpool waits.

I then had the clever idea to look into supporting PBS directly. Why give the money to Amazon when I could just pay Louisiana Public Broadcasting for access? There is something called LPB Passport, but it doesn’t seem like Daniel Tiger is one of the series included. Some episodes are available to watch on the website or PBS Kids app, but there’s no easy way to watch on a TV (which we like to do as a family) or download for on the go.

So, am I stuck ponying up more to the company run by the world’s richest man? There’s no other show as perfect as Daniel, but I could always make an effort to watch it as it airs on LPB. What will you do with less Daniel on Prime?

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16 Apr 2019


By Mari Walker

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