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New TLC Series Are Child's Play

January 9, 2006 12:00 AM

At the Television Critics Association's semiannual press tour, TLC plans to announce a pair of reality shows set to debut later this year: "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" and "LA Riding Club." "Honey" (BBC Productions, 12 episodes) uses computer imaging and measurements conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health to show parents the probable fates of their obese kids-a sort of "Scared Straight" for parents who won't stop buying the Lucky Charms. "Riding Club" (PB&J Productions, 10 episodes) is a docu-soap reality series about privileged Los Angeles youths who compete in equestrian events. The series will have plenty of company on the slate at TLC, which has ordered about 15 series since Executive VP and General Manager David Abraham took the reins last April. -James Hibberd

'Arrested' for Beard

TV viewers in Los Angeles are most likely to recognize John Beard as the news anchor at the Fox owned-and-operated station KTTV, but nationally Mr. Beard is most likely best known as the unnamed news anchor who regularly appears on the Fox Network's recently canceled comedy "Arrested Development." Mr. Beard, who appeared in the "Arrested" pilot and has reprised his role several times, is a "wonderful straight man," said David Nevins, president of Imagine Television, which produces the show, "but who knew he had impeccable comic timing?" In the last original episode of "Arrested" to air on Fox, Mr. Beard expanded his role by pretending to be a news anchor circa 1979, complete with wavy hair and wide tie. Mr. Beard wasn't brought back only because he was part of the network's extended corporate family, Mr. Nevins said, noting that "Arrested" creator Mitch Hurwitz "doesn't go back to the same actor unless they are nailing it." If Mr. Beard is tired of the whole news thing, the veteran newscaster might just find a career waiting in Hollywood. -Christopher Lisotta

'Moons' Rise for ABC Family

ABC Family has been very selective about its dramas, developing few, picking fewer. But this week the network is set to announce its fourth original, "Three Moons Over Milford" (executive produced by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Gary Rosen). The quirky drama is about a small town's reaction when the world is threatened by a cosmic explosion. Faced with possible extinction, the residents begin to live every moment to the fullest. Eight episodes have been ordered. In October the network greenlighted "Kyle XY" from Touchstone TV. The drama, about a suburban family that takes in a mysterious teen, is set to debut this summer. -James Hibberd