I’ll miss you the most, Levar Burton… PBS is canceling Reading Rainbow after 26 years on the air. Although Reading Rainbow hadn’t produced a new episode since 2006, the show will now no longer even be on in reruns. You may wonder what exactly would cancel the program? Well it’s all about the money. No, Geordi La Forge’s salary wasn’t the problem. Apparently it costs money to license all those books.

You know, it’s kind of sad that Reading Rainbow has to come to an end. Even through reruns this show was a great tool to get kids to read. Anyone who grew up in my generation knew the coolness of Reading Rainbow.

Much like when PBS took Mr. Rogers off the air, I’m sad a little inside. The lessons of Reading Rainbow could still be taught today even in 20 year old reruns. Personally I think all the books who are featured on Reading Rainbow should drop whatever licensing fees they have. I’m sure the publicity that the PBS staple put on the books featured did more for sales than any licensing fees.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Here’s to the memories… And to the future of dumb kids who can’t read or spell.

11 Responses to Reading Rainbow is Canceled

  • Kyle says:

    that sucks, I remember watching that show a lot in class back in Elementary school in the early 90s.

  • Snowglare says:

    Honestly, I forgot it was still on, but I loved it as a kid. Probably had something to do with my lifelong love of reading.

  • Michael says:

    I recently heard that Reading Rainbow was canceled, upon which I was perplexed as I do not believe any of the PBS stations in the Chicago area have shown it in maybe a decade. I thought it had ended long, long ago and not as recently as 2006. It does seem a bit silly of publishers to demand sizable licensing fees for the books featured on the show. I wonder if it will ever be released on DVD. My fiancee would that. While the both of us would love Mr. Rogers DVDs.

  • Thats insanity. Why in the hell……. I’ll be damned….. And you already hear people talking about illit- illat- ill-, uhh people who can’t read and such. You hear complaints. And I also agree with Newton that “Reading Rainbow” probably did more for the marketing and selling of those books than anything else, and thus should be exempt from publishing fees. That was some of the appeal of the show. It wasn’t always “Where the Wild Things Are” or “Where the Red Fern Grows”, most of the time it was some obscure book that, as a child who loved to read, I would think “…hey that sounds like a cool book.” Even looked for a few on different occasions. Probably best used as a marketing tool than anything that had to pay to the publisher for the rights to promote your books. The writers themselves should back PBS and fight on the side of the little guy against these big publishing houses. Insanity…..

  • Michael says:

    Off Topic… Grubby, I like the Teddy Ruxpin reference of your, and of course, Newton’s handles. I would love to get the DVD set of that show.

  • Joel says:

    Kids’ television has become such a lost art. Not to get too sentimental, because a lot of the childhood TV shows we tend to revere were clearly just toy advertisements, but I see so few shows for kids today that can match the insight of Pete & Pete, the imagination of Are You Afraid of the Dark? or the basic humanity of Mr. Rogers (Spongebob is a rare and much-appreciated exception, as is Brave and the Bold). Reading Rainbow was great, and will be missed. It’s always a shame to see something you think of as foundational just totally disappear. Thankfully kids still have Sesame Street.

    Sidenote: the publishing houses are shooting themselves in the foot yet again on this one. They should be the ones paying Reading Rainbow to feature their books, not the other way around. Morons.

  • @Michael: I saw some DVDs of TR for pretty cheap at Walmart a few years ago. No idea why I didn’t pick them up.

    @Joel: yeah those were some good shows as well. I feel sorry for kids today.

  • Kudos to Micheal for recognizing the handles. Newtons been Newton for alot of years and about 2 years ago I started posting as NewtonsGrubby for the hell of it on different sites and it just kinda stuck. Not alot of people would make that connection. Newton give the man a No-Prize. On the topic at hand……. I have a 13 year old and a 9 year old, so there is ALOT of cartoons played at my house. My 13 year old daughter actually watched some decent cartoons, I truly enjoyed the “Powerpuff” girls. Got the dvd boxed set of the entire run of the show to prove it, but thats when things started going south. I’m not a big fan of the stuff my 9 year old watches. To be honest half of the time I don’t even understand whats going on or being said. “Bakugan”, “Pokemon”, “Total Drama Island”….. Weird and not the slightest bit entertaining as far as i’m concerned. (guess i’m either getting old or this stuff really is CRAP!) But anyway, to lose a good, entertaining and educational show such as “Reading Rainbow” is truly a tragedy. I actually believe that my I.Q. shrinks a little just by sitting through even 5 minutes of “Bakugan Brawlers.” Give me “Tom and Jerry” or the great “Duck Tales” any day!

  • Michael says:

    Are there many live action kid’s shows remaining? It seems that animation is mainly where the focus is. When it comes to animation, my attention is focused mostly on anime. However, I am not a fan of the currently popular Naruto or One Piece. While I like newer anime, mostly romantic comedies and such, I am quite fond of older anime shows such as Mobile Suit Gundam, City Hunter, Belle and Sebastian, Kimagure Orange Road, and Magical Star Magical Emi. American animation is largely dead to me now. I don’t care for Spongebob, any of CN’s original shows, etc… I think part of it is the style of animation and nature of the content. Most of the aesthetically pleasing cartoons on TV today are aimed at small children. I miss American cartoons such as Duck Tales, TMNT, Teddy Ruxpin, etc… I have what of Duck Tales Disney has released, am working on TMNT, and looking into TR. I need to see if Masters of the Universe or Transformers still hold up. G.I.JOE really does not, while Jem has such an 80’s feel to it that it is easy to watch. I wonder if Go-Bots is on DVD? A lot of the shows I liked were foreign. David the Gnome was done in Spain, while shows such a Noozles, Maple Town, and the Adventures of the Little Koala were from Japan. Regarding Teddy Ruxpin… I always wanted a Fob. Needless to say, i never got the animatronic toy nor the figure.

  • DrNightmare says:

    Bakugan, Pokemon, Drama Island, those really are horrible shows. I used to like pokemon too, back when they actually battled and had cool storylines. Now all teh show does is showcase all the new pokemon, no engaging story included at all.

    Some things are just so obviously wrong. Beating your pets, stealing money from your grandma, RR getting cancelled, so wrong.

  • NewtonsGrubby says:

    Just as an FYI I have Masters of the Universe (both versions, including the 2003 run) and all of the old GIJoe (which is HARD to find) And various other old great cartoons, now Go-Bots will be my next target. All pirated, long live P2P!!!!!

Leave a Reply