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The Telefile

Jason Bateman Is Fox-y

by Lauren Gitlin June 16, 2008 11:39 am
Jason Bateman Is Fox-y I'm so confused! Is Fox a soul-less trash receptacle for right-wing news media and dehumanizing reality shows or a haven for groundbreaking comedy programming? Maybe, like that Young Republican you dated who could simultaneously defend Scalia and crack jokes that made you pee, it's a little bit of both?

It seems the suits over there are finally coming to their senses, because The Hollywood Reporter is dishing dirt that the network inked a first-look deal with the one and only Jason Bateman to develop a slew of new series. This two years after they cancelled the Bateman vehicle (and stroke of comic genius) Arrested Development. But now the B-Man -- who recently directed the pilot for the new Fox comedy series Do Not Disturb and will lend his voice to the upcoming Mitchell Hurwitz cartoon chucklefest Sit Down and Shut Up -- is back in the saddle.

True to form, Bateman waxed sarcastic to THR about his history with Fox and with 20th Century execs Dana Walden and Gary Newman: "Dana and Gary have always made me feel so welcome in their house, and getting my own room now is an exciting start for [my production company] F+A Prods. Unfortunately, Gary's demanding that our first project together be a decorating trip down to Ikea for a tchotchke run."

It'd be nice to give Fox the benefit of the doubt and elect to believe that they see potential in Bateman's prowess as a quirky entertainer with his fingers on the proverbial pulse, but more likely than likely, they're merely looking after their bottom line. With a slew of turns in big screen moneymakers, including the critically acclaimed Juno and the upcoming Will Smith blockbuster Hancock, Bateman has proven himself as a bankable commodity with star power. And Bateman's brand of humor has become stylish in the intervening years since AD went off the air. That core cult audience of AD acolytes guarantees that virtually anything Bateman touches creatively will garner a fiercely devoted fan base.

Soo the moral of the story is that Fox isn't so much progressive and cool, they're just savvy business people. Cool, I guess I just worked through my conundrum (see above). Thanks for listening!

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