Gothamist is sick over the possibility that Reading Rainbow might be cancelled. The beloved precursor to Oprah's Book Club (in Gothamist's mind), Reading Rainbow introduced children to new books, fiction and non-fiction, taking place in situations familiar and exotic. The problem with finding funding for producing more spots is "the show's narrow audience -- children 6 to 8 who are just learning to read -- doesn't give sponsors the broad exposure they're seeking" according to Amy Jordan, senior researcher on children and the media at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. "What 'Reading Rainbow' saw, before anybody else saw it, is that you can use this medium of television to get kids excited about reading."
One solution (the five-minutes-of-thought kind Gothamist is so good at) would be for a consortium of companies (toy marketers, children's book publishers, movie studios that produce product for kids, hell, maybe even talent agencies that rep writers) to support Reading Rainbow. It's always shocking how no one actually supports public television while they complain about the state of network television. Seriously, Gothamist wonders why the WGA, specifically the TV writers, doesn't filter more money to public television, as it's a medium that provides a counter to the mindless reality. Gothamist supposes these writers are just trying to convince cable companies to step up and pick up their scripts for pilot. Maybe it's time for some ridiculously successful author like Stephen King to step in.