Former kid TV stars from "Little House on the Prairie" and "Lassie" are expected to testify Thursday in Harrisburg at a hearing on a bill designed to protect children working in reality TV shows like Kate Gosselin's "Kate Plus 8," which is filmed in Pennsylvania.
Alison Arngrim and Nellie Oleson, from "Little House," along with Jon Provost, who played Timmy on "Lassie," are expected to testify before the Pennsylvania House Labor Committee, which is considering Rep. Thomas Murt's Bill 2515.
They arrived in Harrisburg Wednesday to join Paul Petersen, who played Jeff Stone in "The Donna Reed Show," which ran on ABC from 1958 to '66. Petersen and the other former child stars are there to lobby legislators on the need for reform in child labor laws.
It’s expected that Arngrim, Provost and Petersen will discuss the need for set teachers (currently not required in Pennsylvania) and how reality TV must be regulated like so-called scripted TV in their Thursday morning testimony.
Also testifying will be representatives from State Department of Labor and Industry, and representatives from the MPAA and the Screen Actors Guild.
The hearing is expected to be broadcast by PCN, Welcome to PCN!
, Pennsylvania's version of C-SPAN.
“I’m delighted Alison and Jon will be on hand to share the lessons learned from their years on the frontlines,” Murt said in an email to the Sun. “I’m certain they will help the legislature understand how critical it is that Pennsylvania reforms its antiquated child labor laws.”
The hearing has attracted nationwide attention.