Reading Rainbow was an American children's television series aired by PBS from June 6, 1983 until November 10, 2006 that encouraged reading among children.
The public television series garnered over 200 broadcast awards, including scores of Emmy Awards, many for "Outstanding Children's Series". The series was created under the leadership of Cecily Truett Lancit and Larry Lancit, at Lancit Media Productions in New York. The concept of a reading series for children was inspired by Twila Liggett, Ph.D., of Lincoln, Nebraska of the Great Plains National Instructional Television Library at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Paul Schupbach, director of the Great Plains National Instructional Television LIbrary; and Tony Buttino, of WNED-TV Buffalo, New York. The original team included Lynne Brenner Ganek, Ellen Schecter, and LeVar Burton as host.
Each episode centers on a theme from a book or other children's literature which is explored through a number of segments or stories. The show also provides book recommendations for kids to look for when they go to the library. It is the third-longest running children's series in PBS history, after Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street.