Our Origins series gives artists a platform to share everything that went into their latest release. Today, we hear from the team behind the new Reading Rainbow Live theme song.
In late 2021, PBS announced the return of the beloved Reading Rainbow program as an interactive series, Reading Rainbow Live, featuring a new look, a new cast, and a new emphasis on interaction. Today (March 4th), Consequence is providing an exclusive preview of the reboot’s theme song, as well as insight from the team behind it.
Music was central to the original Reading Rainbow run. From the original songs housed within each episode to the iconic theme, the musical aspect of Reading Rainbow has proven to be essential to the show’s enduring legacy. Even over a decade after its finale, renditions and parodies of the theme song, like Jimmy Fallon’s Doors-themed take, prove that the tunes of Rainbow haven’t been forgotten. So, with Reading Rainbow Live set to premiere on March 6th, there’s a certain level of anticipation surrounding the new theme.
The new song is the product of a collaboration between Maxwell Beer, Kenny Harmon, and Mark Brymer, with Beer writing the music, Harmon penning the lyrics, and Brymer helming the arrangement. The result is a tune that’s fittingly simple, catchy, and steeped in childish wonder.
Reading Rainbow Live’s theme steers away from attempting to remake the original, instead opting to recontextualize its essence for a new audience. “We understood that the original was iconic,” Beer tells Consequence. “We knew we could never replace that song, but we wanted to replicate the feeling of excitement and wonder the original so beautifully created.”
The intro now boasts a modernized animation style and features a new crop of diverse voices. It seems to showcase that, while the show certainly carries the spirit of the original, Reading Rainbow Live is invested in creating a program for a new generation of young readers.
Watch the extended theme and a behind-the-scenes clip below, exclusively on Consequence, followed by Beer, Harmon, and Brymer’s insights on the theme.
Grab your tickets for the show’s premiere at ReadingRainbowLive.com.