Trivia / Reading Rainbow

  • Actor Allusion: In the episode "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters," LeVar remarks that "all black Americans have roots in Africa."
  • Executive Meddling / Screwed by the Network: An inevitability for any PBS show, considering the lack of funding and constant disagreement about how to secure appropriate revenue streams.
    • The cast learned the show had been cancelled just before the night they would accept their 26th Emmy award. LeVar Burton was the one who made the announcement during the acceptance speech. He could barely mask the rage and the disappointment in his voice.
    • It ends happily, however, as LeVar Burton pursued and obtained the full rights to the show afterwards and now owns it. It lives on as a constantly updating iPad app that features all of the show's normal contents. Even better, the app is available worldwide, ensuring that everyone has equal access to the franchise (so long as they have a properly funded iTunes account and an internet connection fast enough for video, and access to the app store). And with the success of the Kickstarter campaign, the app will now be ported to various other platforms as well, making the franchise more accessible than before.
  • Freemium: The iOS app is free and you can check out most books without a subscription. But to view the field trip videos and check out certain books, you'll need to fork out for a subscription of US$9.99 a month. It's worth every penny however. Well, somebody has to pay for the server space and the royalties of the books. Thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, this subscription version has been made available without charge to a number of schools.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The second opening sequence has never appeared on any official home video releases, and a recording of it has yet to appear online.
  • Missing Episode: Two of the shows' 155 episodes were pulled from rotation. They were "Arthur's Eyes" from season 1 in 1983 (because the PBS kids show had adapted the book as one of its episodes), and "The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth" from season 8 in 1990 (for the same reason as the Arthur example, though that show eventually moved off PBS and onto several different commercial networks).
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Some outtakes shown at the beginning of "Ludlow Laughs" show that LeVar had some very painful / embarrassing episodes involving animals in making the show. But, at least, looking back, he can laugh about them.
  • Out of Order: Two season 4 episodes that aired in 1986, "Animal Cafe" and "Watch the Stars Come Out", were actually shot during season 3 in 1985. The tell-tale signs are the style of end credits, and LeVar sporting a mustache and afro (he was clean-shaved and sporting a flat-top in all the episodes that were shot in 1986).