Reading Rainbow was a fantastic series that I, like many others, spent many hours exploring the joys of literature with before running off to the local library to take out as many books as I could!
The show seemed to have always been there, and in that time it touched the lives of kids all across America. Here are the interesting facts that you probably didn't know about one of the most colorful programs that is totally making a comeback today!
The original show lasted for 26 years
Going on for more than two and a half decades is impressive by any means, especially achieving over 155 episodes! In fact, it was the third longest-running children's show in PBS history!
Surprisingly, it ended due to lack of funding
The show needed approximately $500,000 to continue, however, funding began to be pushed towards teaching kids how to read, rather than teaching them to love reading itself.
There were a ton of celebrity cameos during the show's running
It was a long line-up including everyone from Flavor Flav, James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, Run D-M-C, and of course, Kermit the Frog.
Perhaps surprisingly, some of the coolest facts about the show occurred after it was cancelled, and which deal with the future of this excellent learning medium!
It's coming back to our screens
The former host, LeVar Burton, had always wanted the show to make a comeback, and 2014 helped launch a Kickstarter campaign with Mark Wolfe to raise funds to make an app version of the show available on the web and mobile devices.
The fundraiser was one of the most successful in Kickstarter history
Despite not getting the funding it needed in the early 2000's before it cancelled, it seems that Burton wasn't the only one who wanted to see Reading Rainbow return. In just 11 hours after the Kickstarter launch, it hit it's primary goal of $1,000,000. In 24 hours, it broke $5 million dollars.
Thank you...Family Guy?
Counted among one of the shows biggest supporters, Seth MacFarlane swore to match donations in order to reach the $5 million goal. He ultimately donated a total of $1,000,000. The project was able to help more than 13,000 classrooms gain access to programming that encourages children to read.