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Finance / Kickstarter

Reading Rainbow Breaks Record for Most Backers on Kickstarter…and the Campaign Isn't Over Yet

- Guest Writer
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sorry, Veronica Mars. There’s a new most-backed project on Kickstarter.

The campaign to create a web version of Reading Rainbow, the beloved PBS show that encouraged kids to read throughout its 26-year run, broke the record for most individual contributers yesterday, surging past the 91,585 backers who ponied up to have TV character Veronica Mars snark it up on the big screen.

Currently, Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton’s quest to revive the series as an interactive website has been supported by over 96,600 backers. That number is likely to skyrocket as the campaign, which was launched at the tail-end of May, nears its conclusion. At the time of this writing, we’re just 28 hours away.

Related: 'Reading Rainbow' Is Coming Back Thanks to Kickstarter

The project got off to a roaring start, netting its entire $1 million goal in a matter of hours. And Burton’s project got same celebrity backed dazzle when Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane pledged to match every dollar raised after the $4 million mark, up to $1 million. So far, more than $4.76 million has been contributed to project, which means McFarland will give over $760,000. (Again, though, the campaign has more than a day to go and donations are pouring in by the minute.)

That makes Reading Rainbow the fifth most-funded project on Kickstarter ever. While it’s well behind the first place slot (that would be the Pebble e-watch for smartphones, which raised over $10 million) Burton’s campaign could potentially overtake No. 4 on the list, the Veronica Mars Movie Project, which raised a whopping $5.7 million.

Related: Thinking of Crowdfunding? This Review Site Helps You Choose Wisely

The project has already surpassed its $1 million goal, which means Burton will develop a Reading Rainbow website and supply 1,500 classrooms with free subscriptions. If the project reaches $5 million in contributions, Burton says he will build a Reading Rainbow app for smartphones, gaming consoles (XBOX, PlayStation) and OTT boxes (AmazonTV, Roku and Kindle Fire TV) and up the number of free-classroom subscriptions to 7,500.

“For families and classrooms -- especially those that can't afford computers or tablets for each child -- we also need to be on connected devices that can put Reading Rainbow back on the television,” he wrote on the project’s Kickstarter page.

Check out Burton’s Kickstarter video below. It’s pretty great.

To Keep His Kickstarter Backers Happy, This Entrepreneur Is Wearing Leopard-Print Pants Every Day