1980s Children’s Show ‘Reading Rainbow Live’ Makes Comeback After 15-Year Hiatus

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The classic 1980s children’s show, “Reading Rainbow” is making a comeback after a 15-year hiatus, according to published reports.

The modern version, called “Reading Rainbow Live,” is designed to be an interactive experience for kids and will feature a rotating cast of hosts. Each 25-minute episode will educate viewers through music, field trips, cultural explorations, and a book of the day, according to the show’s release, CBS News reported.

The original show that was hosted by actor LeVar Burton originally aired in 1983. The updated version will feature “a diverse, talented, and comedic group of young performers,” according to the program’s creators. Young viewers tuning in will be able to participate in the live show using a virtual platform. 

“Now the kids who grew up with ‘Reading Rainbow’ are parents and teachers like me and we want to honor that and grateful for the legacy of ‘Reading Rainbow’ but we really want to kids and viewers to really see themselves in the show,” Amy Guglielmo, the show’s creative director, told, “CBS This Morning.” 

Co-host Rohit Gopal added, “Even though it is through a screen we really can make them [the kids] feel like they are in the studio with us.”

The new group of hosts will be known as the “Rainbows,” CBS reported.

Steven Beer, the show’s executive producer, said “Reading Rainbow Live,” was developed as a “life-saver” during the challenges of COVID, remote schooling, and virtual learning.

”We know it was a tough pandemic for parents, for caregivers, for teachers. 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,” Beer said.

The show is set to launch in early 2022, and the cast will be announced in the coming weeks, CBS reported.

In the meantime, producers are still searching for one more performer to round out the group, the news outlet said.

“Whether they are asking questions of a cast member, following along to a dance routine, or being rewarded for answering a question correctly, viewers will be motivated to participate, and parents will be gratified knowing that their children are being entertained and intellectually stimulated,” the news release said. 

The show has a nationwide casting call in progress. Performers aged 18-28 can apply to be a “Rainbow.” Filming began last month and will continue through April 2022, NY1 News reported.