Levar Burton spent more than two decades hosting the outstanding program “Reading Rainbow.” Now that program will be the focus of an upcoming documentary spotlighting its achievements.

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — LeVar Burton may not have gotten the “Jeopardy” hosting slot, but the series that he’s championed is about to get its own cinematic spotlight. “Reading Rainbow,” which he hosted for 23 years, will be the topic of XTR’s new documentary “Butterfly in the Sky.” The documentary will examine the journeys of filmmakers, hosts , educators and broadcasters who wholeheartedly believed television could inspire the passion and love for reading.

“Butterly in the Sky” will be directed by the Jasper Mall duo Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb. It is produced by Sidestilt Films alongside Bryan Storkel and XTR’s Bryn Mooser and Justin Lacob. Kathryn Everett serves as an executive producer. It will feature archival footage and interviews with Burton and othhers.

“Reading Rainbow” was my window into the big city and into diverse cultures,” Whitcomb said in stories published on various entertainment websites.. “With segments like those in “Hill of Fire,” “Liang and the Magic Paintbrush,” and countless other episodes, “Reading Rainbow” was arguably the first time I encountered “documentary-style” television as a young person, planting a seed that would inspire me for the rest of my life and lead me to where I am in my career to this day.”

“As a Mexican-American growing up in Houston, I was always surrounded by diversity,” Thomason added. “More than any show on television, “Reading Rainbow” reflected the cultures that surrounded me. When the book fair came to my school, I went straight for the “Reading Rainbow” titles. I didn’t know it at the time, but the show’s mission statement was manifesting itself in me. I devour books to this day and I know “Reading Rainbow” had a hand in that.”

“We are honored to tell the “Reading Rainbow” story and document the show’s incredible work to increase literacy for children around the world,” Justin Lacob, Head of Development at XTR, continued. “Decades later, the impact of “Reading Rainbow”still lives on through my lifelong love of reading which I share with my own kids.”