Yesterday, in part one of our exclusive interview with LeVar Burton, he talked about Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 25th anniversary and the imminent release of the Season Two Blu-ray set, and started to discuss the arrival of Reading Rainbow, his landmark educational program, as an App. Today, in the second half of the conversation, Burton goes into more depth about Reading Rainbow, chats about his appearances on the current television shows Perception and The Big Bang Theory, and comments on what he’d want to see for Geordi if someone were to make one more TNG episode. What does it mean to you personally to see another generation enjoying Reading Rainbow? In many cases, it’s the kids of adults who were children themselves when they first saw Reading Rainbow.Burton: It’s amazing. It’s a great feeling. You can’t plan for that. When we started this effort, the iPad had not come out yet. We have pivoted quite a few times on this journey and today we got that validation that the strength of the brand really does work. We’re so proud of the product. Kids are loving it. Their parents are loving it. It’s a circle of win.You did Reading Rainbow for 26 years. Is it the credit that you’re proudest of, professionally speaking, perhaps even more so than TNG?Burton: In a weird way, yeah, absolutely, because of the nature of the mission with Reading Rainbow. It’s so education-focused. I’m the son of a teacher. We’re all teachers in my family…, my older sister, my son, nieces, nephews, cousins. It’s what we do in my family. So, for the son of a teacher, this is pretty big. You know we’ve got to ask you the iPad/PADD question. How appropriate is it that people are now watching Reading Rainbow on something that so closely resembles a gadget that was seen regularly on TNG?Burton: You never know. You never know. I had no idea. It’s great. Look, I remember when I was a kid growing up feeling so good about myself watching The Original Series because I saw Nichelle Nichols on the bridge, because I saw somebody who looked like me in the future. Little did I know that I’d grow up and be a member of that storytelling family. It’s pretty wacky.
What else is on your plate? Any other acting opportunities? Are you hoping to direct Perception at some point?Burton: All of those things will take care of themselves. Right now, as we speak, my focus really is on Reading Rainbow and RRKidz.com, and building this company. We want to provide many, many more products that engage kids and their families.