18-year-old Michael Kinsell has a dream of being the next Mr. Rogers. Last year he started telling people at his school that he was filming a show called Michael's Enchanted Neighborhood
, and that it was going to be aired on PBS. The show was modeled closely on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. From pointweekly.com:
Each show will begin much as Mr. Rogers' did, with Kinsell singing a song, "It's a Lovely Day Today to Play," as he puts on a sweater and sneakers. Then a "neighbor," such as an artist or plumber, will drop by to discuss his or her profession. Later, Michael tours a factory to discover how "familiar childhood things" are made. He also makes sure to visit the Enchanted Neighborhood to join the puppets and humans there for "whimsical fun and celebrations."
This year he ramped up his story, claiming that he was organizing a star-studded charity event to honor Mr. Rogers, an event that would simultaneously serve as his anointment as the new Mr. Rogers. Celebrities in attendance were supposedly going to include Danny DeVito, Maria Shriver, Bette Midler, Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Barbara Eden and Eddie Murphy. Kinsell and his mother set up a website to promote the event, on which they claimed it "may set a record of the biggest celebrity turnout in the history for San Diego." Tickets were being sold for $500 each.
But it turns out no celebrities were actually planning on attending. As word of this leaked out, the whole scheme collapsed, leading Kinsell to cancel the event. PBS has also demanded that he stop using their name to promote himself. Likewise, Mr. Rogers' production company has demanded that he stop using Mr. Rogers' name. More details at current.org