Host LeVar Burton introduced each episode of Reading Rainbow and encouraged young viewers to find out more about interesting topics through reading, saying “But you don’t have to take my word for it…”
The venerable PBS program went through several changes in ownership over the years as it struggled to survive. In January 2007, Burton said that he’d taped his last episode of Reading Rainbow and indicated that he wasn’t pleased with the direction that the newest owners were taking it.
The program’s last original episode aired on November 10, 2006 and reruns of Reading Rainbow left the airwaves in 2009 because PBS couldn’t afford the broadcast rights, in part because of the licensing of the featured books.
In February 2009, Burton wrote, “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.”
Many have forgotten his tease but this week, Burton wrote about reviving the show again, saying, “You heard it here first… Reading Rainbow 2.0 is in the works! Stay tuned for more info. But, you don’t have to…”
It’s not clear if Reading Rainbow will return aimed at children or adults but, based on Burton’s growing social presence on the Web, the Internet will surely figure heavily in the equation.