Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow

Infobox Television
show_name = Reading Rainbow

caption = The "Reading Rainbow" logo used between 2000 and 2006.
format = Children's television series
runtime = 30 minutes per episode
country = USA
network = PBS
first_aired = June 6,1983
last_aired = November 10 2006
num_seasons =
num_episodes = 155
creator =
picture_format = 480i (SDTV)
audio_format = Mono (1983)
Stereo (1984-2006)
Dolby Surround (recent reruns)
website =
imdb_id = 0085075
tv_com_id = 6380

"Reading Rainbow" was an American children's television series aired by PBS from June 6, 1983 until November 10, 2006, that encouraged reading among children. Each episode centered on a theme from a book or other children's literature which is explored through a number of segments or stories. The show also provided book recommendations for kids to look for when they go to the library.

"Reading Rainbow" has won a Peabody Award and twenty-six Emmy Awards, ten of which were in the "Outstanding Children's Series" category. [ [ About "Reading Rainbow"] ]

how details

"Reading Rainbow" was hosted by actor and executive producer LeVar Burton, who is also known for his roles in "Roots" and "". It was originally co-created and produced by Lancit Media Entertainment from 1982-2000, and was produced by On-Screen Entertainment from 2000-2006 for executive producers WNED and Great Plains National.

A regular feature was a children's book narrated by a noted celebrity. Some of the celebrities who have read on the show include Philip Bosco (Barbara Bash's "Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus") and Michael Ansara (Paul Goble's "The Gift of the Sacred Dog", Sheila MacGill Callahan's "And Still the Turtle Watched"). Another segment of the show featured Burton in different places talking to different people about their work and other contributions, focusing on the theme of each episode. The final segment of each show, called Book Reviews, began with Burton's introductory phrase, "But you don't have to take my word for it," and features children giving capsule reviews of books they recommend. Burton ended every show with, "I'll see you next time."

The series' pilot, which aired as the show's eighth episode in 1983, featured the book "Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport". It was created and produced in 1981 by Twila Liggett (GPN), Tony Buttino (WNED), and from Lancit Media Productions, Larry Lancit, Cecily Truett Lancit and Lynne Brenner Ganek. Burton was the host. Lancit Media produced the majority of the series' episodes until the past few years.

Its theme song was written by Steve Horelick, Dennis Neil Kleinman, and Janet Weir; Horelick also served as the series' music director and composer. The theme was sung by Tina Fabrique. The original opening, which depicted a cartoon butterfly transforming the surroundings of young children reading books into cartoon fantasylands, was used until 1999. Later episodes used a new opening with the same theme song performed by R&B legend Chaka Khan.

The daughter of producer Larry Lancit, Shaune Lancit, was often featured in the series, most notably as the child thanking the sponsors at the end of the show.

Last Years

In later years the series tackled issues that other children's programs have historically avoided, such as poverty in U.S. inner cities, the September 11 attacks, childbirth and its impact on the family, and prison, all from a child's point of view.fact|date=January 2008 Original production was to have ended in 2005, with the show continuing to air in reruns, but host LeVar Burton said on February 7, 2006 that five new episodes of the show would be shot in 2006 despite the continuing financial troubles of PBS. [ [ Burton Talks Drama, Diversity, Respect & 'Reading Rainbow'] ]

On March 7, 2006, Baltimore, Maryland-based Educate Inc. were announced as a co-producer for "Reading Rainbow", replacing GPN as producer after the University of Nebraska Regents (the owners of GPN and NETbnmn) recently sold its long-time production interest to WNED, with WNED and Educate Inc. signing a co-production agreement. WNED's CEO confirmed that the agreement would allow the securing of needed funding to continue production of Reading Rainbow. [ [ Western New York Public Broadcasting Association and Educate, Inc. Announce New Reading Rainbow Partnership] ] [ [ Educate ventures into television with children's show] ]

However, in a presentation at Pennsylvania State University on January 29, 2007, Burton again announced that he had recently shot his last episode of "Reading Rainbow" and was retiring, citing differences with the new owners. [cite news
last = Owens
first =Alyssa
title = 'Reading Rainbow' star encourages imagination
publisher = The Daily Collegian
date =2007-01-30
url =
accessdate = 2007-01-30

Educate Inc. recently announced a new corporate configuration spinning Reading Rainbow into a new products division. The future of the series is speculative.

Animation producers

Feature Book filming

The photographing of the Feature Book segments were by:
*Centron Films (1983-1987; renamed in 1986 to "Centron Productions Inc.")
*Loren Dolezal (1988-1998; renamed in 1995 to "Dolezal Animation") Take Ten Animation teamed up with Dolezal from 1995-1998)
*On Screen Entertainment (1999- 2007)

Guest readers and contributors

hidden begin
title = Guest readers and contributors
titlestyle = background:pink; text-align:center;

*Lucie Arnaz
*James Avery
*Julia Barr
*Angela Bassett
*Orson Bean
*Matthew Broderick
*Dixie Carter
*Lacy Chabert
*Julia Child
*Kevin Clash
*Imogene Coca
*James Coco
*Bill Cosby
*Tyne Daly
*Ossie Davis
*Ruby Dee
*Michael Dorn
*Buddy Ebsen
*Hector Elizondo
*Fernando Escandon
*Peter Falk
*Jamie Farr
*Vincent Gardenia
*Whoopi Goldberg
*Jane Goodall
*Robert Guillaume
*Lorne Greene
*Jim Henson (as Kermit the Frog)
*Gregory Hines
*Lena Horne
*Victoria Jackson
*James Earl Jones
*Raul Julia
*Eartha Kitt
*Robin Leach
*Michael Learned
*Maya Lin
*Amy Linker
*Bobby McFerrin
*Robert Morse
*Fred Newman
*Jerry Orbach
*Corrine Orr
*Jane Pauley
*Keshia Knight Pulliam
*Phylicia Rashad
*Lou Rawls
*Lionel Richie
*Jason Robards
*Al Roker
*Zelda Rubinstein
*Lea Salonga
*Isabel Sanford
*Susan Sarandon
*Josh Saviano
*John Sebastian
*Pete Seeger
*Martin Short
*Arnold Stang
*Gilda Radner
*Patrick Stewart
*Jerry Stiller
*Michelle Trachtenberg
*Ben Vereen
*Ralph Waite
*William Windom
*Hattie Winston


Corporate funding for "Reading Rainbow" is/was provided by the following:
*National Science Foundation (1986-2002)
*The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (1993-2002), (2006-2007)
*The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (1983-2007)
*Public Television Stations (1984-1989)/ "Viewers Like You" (1989-2007)
*The Carnegie Corporation of New York (1986-1994)
*Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (1984-1986)
*B. Dalton's Bookseller (1984-1987)
*The Children's Place (2002-2005)
*Ready To Learn grants (2002-2005)
*United States Department of Education (2002-2005)
*Dayton-Hudson Corporation (1987-1989)
*Barnes and Noble (1999-2002)
*Kellogg's (1983-1984), (1989-1999) [During the years Kellogg's was sponsor, "Reading Rainbow" would get promoted on the boxes of Kellogg's cereals, generally at the start of each season.]
*Pew Charitable Trust (1993-1997)
*RCN (1997-1999)To date, the only permanent sponsors for Reading Rainbow have been the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Viewers Like You, which have both funded the show for its entire run. There have been many others, however; From 1986 and until 2002, The National Science Foundation funded the show, and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations funded the show from 1993 until 2002. Only The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have resumed funding during the 2006-07 season.


External links

* [ PBS Kids: Official Site]
* [ Official site at GPN]
* [ Director's Site]
* []

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