Rice feeds more than half of the world's population. Rice blast, caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, and bacterial blight, caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, are major constraints to rice production worldwide. Genome sequencing and extensive molecular analysis has led to the identification of many new pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and avirulence and virulence effectors in both pathogens, as well as effector targets and receptors in the rice host. Characterization of these effectors, host targets, and resistance genes has provided new insight into innate immunity in plants. Some of the new findings, such as the binding activity of X. oryzae transcriptional activator-like (TAL) effectors to specific rice genomic sequences, are being used for the development of effective disease control methods and genome modification tools. This review summarizes the recent progress toward understanding the recognition and signaling events that govern rice innate immunity.