Minneapolis-reared actress Melissa Peterman to promote baby gambling on ABC

PAUL WALSH | Updated 1/31/2013

Peterman, best known for her co-starring role in "Reba," will host reality show "Bet On Your Baby."


Jason Redmond

Melissa Peterman, the comic and actress from Minneapolis who starred on the prime-time hit "Reba," is hosting an evening network game show that tests how well parents know their little tykes.

ABC announced Wednesday that "Bet On Your Baby" will debut in April with Peterman, the mother of a 7-year-old, as the host.

The hourlong show's premise? Mom and Dad try to predict their toddler's next move in an effort to win money for their child's future education. The network said it has ordered eight episodes so far.

"The concept of the show just appealed to me on many levels," Peterman, 41, said in a network statement announcing the show, "because as a mom I liked the fact that the kids are having fun and being themselves. . . . There is no one more naturally hilarious and fun to watch than a toddler."

Peterman, an alum of Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, portrayed Barbra Jean for more than 100 episodes on "Reba" until the show's run ended in 2007. She currently plays Bonnie Wheeler on ABC Family's "Baby Daddy."

The Minneapolis native got her big break in 1996 portraying one of the hookers in the Coen brother's Oscar-winning film "Fargo." Also early on in her career, she starred in the Twin Cities stage production of "Tony and Tina's Wedding."