Reading Rainbow, the PBS children’s show that Star Trek The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton hosted since 1983, airs for the last time today. The show that won two dozen Emmys will end up being the third longest series in PBS history.
Butterfly in the sky, Reading Rainbow goodbye
According to a report at NPR, Reading Rainbow is ending because it cannot get funding to renew the broadcast rights, apparently the result of changing priorities. From the NPR report:
… the decision to end Reading Rainbow can also be traced to a shift in the philosophy of educational television programming. The change started with the Department of Education under the Bush administration, he explains, which wanted to see a much heavier focus on the basic tools of reading — like phonics and spelling.
Burton helped teach kids to read for over two decades
Reading Rainbow and Star Trek
In one of the more memorable episodes of Reading Rainbow, back during the production of Star Trek The Next Generation Burton took his viewers on a behind the scenes tour of the show. Here it is (in two parts):
An adult Reading Rainbow?
No word yet from LeVar on the end of the series, but back in February the actor Tweeted that he may have a new spin on RR:
Want y’all to know that I’m seriously moving forward with an idea for a new version of a Reading Rainbow like show. Webisodes for adults.
Until then, we will just have the memories. Here is LeVar Burton singing the Reading Rainbow at Diggnation in January
LeVar drops by the Soup again
One last bit of LeVar love. If you remember, back in January we reported on when Burton dropped by E!’s The Soup with the cast of AMC’s Mad Men. Earlier this month he did it again (and even mentioned Reading Rainbow). Here it is: