Rogers decided that television's reliance on advertisement and merchandising kept it from educating young audiences; he left NBC and began working as a puppeteer on the local children's show The Children's Corner for Pittsburgh public television station WQED in 1954. He worked off-camera with host Josie Carey on unscripted live TV for the next seven years to develop the puppets, characters, and music—including King Friday XIII and X the Owl—that he used in his own work later. He voice acted King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday (named after his wife), X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Daniel Stripèd Tiger, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and Larry Horse. The show won a Sylvania Award for best children's show and was broadcast nationally on NBC. Rogers studied theology at the nearby Pittsburgh Theological Seminary during his lunch breaks; however, he was uninterested in preaching and was told to continue making children's television after his ordination. He worked with the University of Pittsburgh's child development and care program. Rogers consulted with child psychologist Margaret McFarland, an associate professor at the school; much of Rogers' "thinking about and appreciation for children was shaped and informed" by McFarland. While filming The Children's Corner, Rogers worked side-by-side with Ernie Coombs, who served as an assistant puppeteer.