Within hours of successfully ending its Kickstarter campaign, the team behind the Reading Rainbow revival has announced you can expect the show to launch for additional platforms beyond the web. It will also be available for thousands more classrooms, at no cost.
Reading Rainbow was an American children's television series that aired from 1983 to 2006. It encouraged children to read. Levar Burton, an actor who is best known for his role as Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, served as the host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow. In an effort to revive the show, he and some friends launched a campaign on Kickstarter in May. He said the new Reading Rainbow would be web-based and free to schools in need.
However, due to an overwhelming response from people across the world, Burton has just revealed Reading Rainbow will now also launch for Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, and Roku. Burton originally intended for Reading Rainbow to launch solely on the web (and it still will - but next May, according to an estimate on the Kickstarter campaign). There's no word yet on when exactly the other versions will launch.
But that's not all: Burton plans to provide free access to the new Reading Rainbow for one year. At least 7,500 disadvantaged classrooms will be able to use Reading Rainbow - along with supplied tools, guides, and dashboards - to teach children how to read. Burton originally wanted to give free subscriptions to 1,500 classrooms.
The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign reached its $1 million goal within 12 hours, and then it reached $2 million in one day. Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the television series Family Guy, subsequently pledged $1 million to the campaign, thrusting Reading Rainbow into the spotlight of media attention. On 2 July, the campaign ended after raising $5,408,916. It is considered one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time.
Although it didn't break Pebble's monetary record on Kickstarter, it did set a new record in terms of backers. More than 100,000 people were apparently interested in a Reading Rainbow revival and pledged their money to the project.
Anyone who pledged had the opportunity to receive incentives like a limited-edition Skye Blue Reading Rainbow Ouya console or the ability to download the complete Reading Rainbow series, among many other things.