Reading Rainbow, the 1980s Children’s Program, Returns to Screen

August 19, 2015

Since a recent Kickstarter campaign set off the digital rebirth of the 1980s TV show Reading Rainbow—which ran for twenty-six years—the brand has entered the licensing arena, according to Publishers Weekly.

Reading Rainbow’s new licensing agent, Brand Central, will develop a consumer products program that reimagines the brand for the digital age.

“[Licensing] was something we had been thinking about, very cautiously,” said Linda Benjamin, president of global strategy at RRKidz, the company behind the relaunch, to PW. “The greatest asset our brand has, and [Reading Rainbow host and founder] LeVar Burton has, is trust. Millennial parents trust the brand.”

“Our mission is to ignite a passion for reading in every child, everywhere,” Benjamin added. “We can’t reach kids just through digital or TV, we need to go wherever they are. Toys and other types of products can keep them engaged in reading and help them ultimately become lifelong readers.”

One of the company’s latest products is an interactive digital library called the Reading Rainbow Skybrary, which is accessible online and via tablets. Children between two and nine years old can surf the seven themed islands, 500 interactive storybooks, and 150 video “field trips” using the app.

Other products will be on the market as soon as 2016, and will include such products as workbooks, learning aids, writing tools, and novelty products for the millennials who grew up with the series.

Related viewing: Reading Rainbow is now available on Netflix.

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