Variety recently reported that Fox Reality topper David Lyle had quit to return to FremantleMedia (which he left in 2004), running its Australian operation and replacing brothers Mark and Carl Fennessy who quit in April to run Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Australia. Just one problem: it wasn’t true. Even though other media outlets picked up the incorrect story, Variety quietly took down the article without correcting it or alerting readers of its inaccuracy. Needless to say, Lyle had some choice words to say about Variety, privately telling journalists who phoned him that the showbiz news outlet was just printing rumors in what he said was a desperate bid to keep up with sites such as DHD. But here’s what Lyle did say on the record: that he is committed to the Fox Reality cable network. He told London’s C21: “The speculation about my move from Fox to Fremantle is complete fabrication. In the world of increasingly competitive journalism, it seems people have to make stories up to attract readers. It causes problems for those of us who deal in ‘reality’.”

The affirmation comes as Fox Reality unveils its fall programming slate, featuring a mixture of original and acquired programming. Among the channel’s new original series will be Househusbands of Hollywood, premiering August 15th; The 2009 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards, premiering October 17th; and The Academy: Orange County Fire, premiering October 24th. The channel also has secured off-network premiere rights to two reality shows from the Fox broadcast network: Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses, plus the first season of A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila will premiere on September 28.

I hear Fox Reality’s new advertising slogan will be: “The Real Road To Hell”. (And, yes, that’s a complete fabrication, one worthy of Variety.)

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.