'Reading Rainbow' Is Returning To TV, So Get Ready For Story Time

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 
CBS News

Reading Rainbow is making a comeback with a new, live streaming series that will feature a “diverse and talented” cast of hosts and performers

“Take a look, it’s in a book, Reading Rainbowww.” Aside from being stuck in your head for the rest of the day, those words (and their iconic tune) just bring such a sense of the warm fuzzies. Remember getting home from school, being served a snack, and settling in to hear the story of the day? Today’s kids are about to know that distinct feeling of joy that Millennials still carry with them, because Reading Rainbow is finally, finally making the comeback it deserves.

After more than 15 years off the air, the iconic series will be returning as Reading Rainbow Live, and will feature “a diverse, talented and comedic troupe of young performers” as hosts, according to CBS. The show’s creators say that the new, updated version was inspired by the pandemic, and all the challenges kids (and their parents) faced in having to pivot to learning at home.

“We know it was a tough pandemic for parents, for caregivers, for teachers,” creative director Amy Guglielmo told CBS News. “We wanted to make sure that we have kids engaging with books and we’re going to use movement and music to engage kids in learning. And we really want kids to see themselves in the books that we’re choosing, and we’re going to use diverse creators, authors, illustrators, settings.”

The new version of the show will follow a similar format to the original, with 25-minute episodes that use music, field trips, cultural explorations, and the book of the day to educate young (and old) viewers about themed topics. The new show will also include an “interactive virtual platform,” but there aren’t too many details yet about what that will entail. The new group of hosts will be called “The Rainbows,” and the cast is expected to be announced sometime in the coming weeks. One thing to expect: They’ll be diverse enough to reflect all the kids who might tune in to watch.

“We think the rainbow, this fun and diverse ensemble cast, will allow children to just identify with these hosts, and it’s just a totally new experience and it’s truly an experience,” Guglielmo said, adding that creators “really want kids and viewers to see themselves on this show.”

The original Reading Rainbow was hosted by the legendary LeVar Burton, and aired from 1983 to 2006.

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