LeVar Burton, whose sonorous voice and warm smile signals story time for an entire generation, will receive a lifetime achievement award at the first-ever Children’s and Family Emmy Awards in December.
The 65-year-old host and producer of Reading Rainbow, which ran for 23 seasons on public television stations, has earned 12 Daytime Emmys and a Peabody for his work and is a natural choice for this inaugural award.
But you don’t have to take our word for it.
“The levels and ways this man has impacted all of us, and continues to do so... help me count the ways!” tweeted Insecure’s Amanda Seales.
“You know you grew up in the 80s/90s watching @PBS when news like this delights you,” wrote a Twitter user Jessica Priestley, MD PhD.
“Here’s to @levarburton for teaching us that we could be anything if we took a look in a book,” the Eckhart Public Library tweeted.
Since the program ended in 2006, Burton has been involved in efforts to revive it, including a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that amassed over $5 million from more than 100,000 donors in 2016. There were talks with streaming giant Netflix, but the project was killed by a lawsuit alleging contract violations.
Currently, Reading Rainbow Live, a Burton-less reboot hosted by a group of fresh young faces, is in the works from WNED, the station that produced the original show. They’ve sued Burton for his use of the show’s trademarks.
The Children’s and Family Emmys, which is sure to include many more favorite faces, will take place on December 11 in Los Angeles. Prior to this, children’s programs were usually nominated for Daytime Emmys.
What, you might wonder, was the reaction of the beloved bibliophile upon learning the news?
“Whoa,” Burton tweeted.
Since he won’t be appearing in Reading Rainbow Live, and was (inexplicably) passed over for the position of Jeopardy! host, Burton is currently available, and Twitter has identified the perfect next move for the ageless icon.
Not a bad idea!