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Watch Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow

imdb logo8.4/10
ChildrenFamilyall1983 - 200621 SeasonsSeries Ended

Reading Rainbow was an American children's television series that aired on PBS from June 6, 1983, until November 10, 2006, that encouraged reading by children. The public television series garnered over 200 broadcast awards, including a Peabody Award and 26 Emmy Awards, 11 of which were in the "Outstanding Children's Series" category. 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 originated with Twila Liggett, Ph.D., and Paul Schupbach, of the Great Plains National Instructional Television Library at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; and Tony Buttino, of WNED-TV Buffalo, New York. The original team included Lynne Brenner Ganek, Ellen Schecter, and host LeVar Burton. Each episode centered on a theme from a book, or other children's literature, which was explored through a number of segments or stories. The show also recommended books for kids to look for when they went to the library. It is the third-longest running children's series in PBS history, after Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street. It was also one of the first PBS shows to be broadcast in stereo.

Where to Watch Reading Rainbow

165 Episodes

Where to stream every episode from all 21 seasons of Reading Rainbow. Filter these episodes by what's available to watch free or on your streaming services using the tabs above.

Season 1

Amazon Prime | PBS Kids | Rent or Buy
Season 01, Episode 01 Tight Times

S01 E01

Jun 6, 1983
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Tight Times Jun 6, 1983 A young girl's father loses his job.

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Season 01, Episode 02 Miss Nelson Is Back

S01 E02

Jun 7, 1983
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Miss Nelson Is Back Jun 7, 1983 As part of his birthday celebration, LeVar gets made-up like a movie monster, and then gets involved in Harry Blackstone's magic act. Ruth Buzzi reads Miss Nelson Is Back, all about a group of rowdy students who try to take advantage of their teacher's absence when she's out sick one day, and how she gets revenge on them by pretending to be "the meanest teacher in the world, Viola Swamp."

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Season 01, Episode 03 Bea and Mr. Jones

S01 E03

Jun 8, 1983
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Bea and Mr. Jones Jun 8, 1983 LeVar is already worn out after working on several scenes all day long on the production of the series. He feels he needs to take on another identity, segueing into introducing the featured book, Bea and Mr. Jones. Madeline Kahn reads the book about a kindergarten student and her father who get so bored with their jobs that they decide to experiment by switching places for the day.

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Season 01, Episode 04 Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

S01 E04

Jun 9, 1983
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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain Jun 9, 1983 Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

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Season 01, Episode 05 Louis the Fish

S01 E05

Jun 10, 1983
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Louis the Fish Jun 10, 1983 Louis the Fish

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Season 01, Episode 06 Digging Up Dinosaurs

S01 E06

Jun 13, 1983
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Digging Up Dinosaurs Jun 13, 1983 Technically not the first science-related show in its history, LeVar seeks a place where archaeologists retrieve dinosaur bones. At the end of the program, LeVar buries a time capsule, containing (among other things) a can of old Coke and his picture. Linda Gilman reads Digging Up Dinosaurs, a story about how paleontologists unearth dinosaurs skeletons and preserve them in museum exhibits.

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Season 01, Episode 07 Liang and the Magic Paintbrush

S01 E07

Jun 14, 1983
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Liang and the Magic Paintbrush Jun 14, 1983 Liang and the Magic Paintbrush

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Season 2

Amazon Prime | Rent or Buy
Season 02, Episode 01 Hot-Air Henry

S02 E01

Sep 3, 1984
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Hot-Air Henry Sep 3, 1984 LeVar goes to South Carolina to ride a hot-air balloon. In another study of how air travel has advanced, schoolchildren visit the Space Camp for Aspiring Young Astronauts. William Windom reads the story of Hot-Air Henry, the misadventures of a cat who sneaks on board his family's hot air balloon and how he gets back down again.

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Season 02, Episode 02 Simon's Book

S02 E02

Sep 4, 1984
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Simon's Book Sep 4, 1984 Simon's Book

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Season 02, Episode 03 Ox-Cart Man

S02 E03

Sep 5, 1984
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Ox-Cart Man Sep 5, 1984 Ox-Cart Man

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Season 02, Episode 04 Mystery on the Docks

S02 E04

Sep 6, 1984
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Mystery on the Docks Sep 6, 1984 Mystery on the Docks

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Season 02, Episode 05 A Chair for My Mother

S02 E05

Sep 7, 1984
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A Chair for My Mother Sep 7, 1984 A Chair for My Mother

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