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Burton was no newcomer to television when he was cast as Geordi, having appeared in "Roots" as Kunta Kinte and hosting the PBS children's show "Reading Rainbow" since 1983. He continued to host "Reading Rainbow" until the show ended in 2005, after which he and a business partner bought the global rights to the brand and re-launched it as a best-selling app for the iPad. Burton, who directed two "TNG" episodes as well as episodes for each of the "Star Trek" series in production throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, has also directed episodes of "Charmed," "JAG" and "Las Vegas" and the documentary "The Tiger Woods Story." He's also recently appeared as himself on episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" and "Community" and is a regular on the TNT drama "Perception."