Short Takes

NBC has signed actor Ed Kerr to a development deal making the unknown young actor — who has appeared in one TV commercial — exclusive to the network for both series and pilots. The relatively unusual deal, according to Kerr’s manager Michael Wallach, extends through June 1993.

Universal TV president Tom Thayer has been named honorary chair of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences educational programs and services committee, chaired by Michael Gallant, which oversees ATAS’ college awards, internships and faculty seminar program.

The National Council of Jewish Women will host a Comic’s Choice fundraiser Oct. 18 at the Palace in Hollywood to benefit the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. Comic Cathy Ladman will host, with Jeff Altman, Richard Belzer and Bob Saget among those scheduled to perform.

HBO will air “Neil Diamond’s Christmas Special” on Nov. 28, at 10 p.m. Diamond, currently engaged in a sold-out world tour, will perform holiday songs in informal settings, accompanied by choirs around the world.

Actress Patti D’Arbanville has joined the cast of the NBC soap “Another World ,” effective Oct. 26. She has appeared in a number of features and prime time series, including “Wiseguy,””Miami Vice” and “Modern Problems.”

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ theater will screen the original 1929 silent version of “Phantom of the Opera,” starring Lon Chaney, on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. The screening will include live organ accompaniment.

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