LOS ANGELES - LeVar Burton's "Reading Rainbow" fundraising effort is getting a boost from a generous pal, Seth MacFarlane.
MacFarlane has promised to match up to $1 million in pledges made on the Kickstarter website so that an online version of "Reading Rainbow" can be made available without charge to an expanded number of underfunded classrooms, Burton said in a statement Thursday.
MacFarlane's offer is in effect through 3 p.m. July 2, when the online fundraiser is to conclude.
Burton said he was left nearly speechless by the "extraordinary generosity" of his friend, the TV and movie writer-producer-actor whose credits include "Ted" and "Family Guy." MacFarlane's spokeswoman confirmed the offer.
MacFarlane jumped in after hearing that "Reading Rainbow" needed to raise at least $5 million, Burton said. The Kickstarter campaign's initial goal was $1 million.
More than $4 million had been pledged by 83,000-plus contributors as of Thursday afternoon.
Burton, star of "Roots and "Star Trek: Next Generation," was host of the children's literacy program that aired on public television through 2009.
Online: Kickstarter: www.helpreadingrainbow.com