"Reading Rainbow" is back - and it's all thanks to the general public.

A web-only version of the now-defunct PBS series has been effectively Kickstarted by host LeVar Burton, reaching its $1 million goal in less than 12 hours - over a month before Burton's stated deadline of July 2.


Incentives offered include everything from t-shirts and tote bags to a private dinner with Burton himself - not to mention a number of special rewards for "Star Trek" fans including access to a private meet-and-greet with the star and a chance to take a photo or video wearing his original visor from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (price tag: $10,000).

As stated by Burton on the campaign's official Kickstarter page (where the counter now shows total donations of more than $1.29 million), the money raised will go to providing "Reading Rainbow" and related tools including "teacher guides, leveling, and dashboards" for free to hundreds of disadvantaged schools.

"Reading Rainbow" aired from 1983-2009 on PBS. An iPad app for the series was launched in 2012 and quickly became the most-downloaded educational app in the iTunes Store.

You can watch Burton's official fundraising video below.

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.