That’s great and all — but in a certain part of the pop-culture consciousness, he’ll always be Matthew Burton.
You know, the lead character of “It’s Your Move”? The one-season NBC sitcom from 1984-85?
Welcome to Before They Were Emmy Nominees. Each Tuesday and Wednesday between now and the Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, we’re going to look back at some early and obscure roles of a few of this year’s acting nominees. (See Zap2it’s Before They Were Nominees photo gallery.)
“It’s Your Move” came from Ron Leavitt and Michael G. Moye, the future creators of “Married … With Children.” Bateman’s Matthew was a teenage prankster and scam artist who lived with his sister (Tricia Cast) and their mom (Caren Kaye). Matthew met his match in their new neighbor — and eventually mom’s new boyfriend — Norman (David Garrison, who’d go on to star in “Married”), who was just as adept at running his own cons and foiling Matthew.
The show reached its apex in a two-part episode called “The Dregs of Humanity” — and was canceled six episodes later after it was retooled to remove most of the pranking elements. Here’s part 1 of the “Dregs” episode:
Prior to “It’s Your Move,” Bateman had a recurring part on the first two seasons of “Silver Spoons” as Ricky’s (Rick Schroder) big-talking friend Derek Taylor — at the same time his sister Justine was becoming a star on “Family Ties.” Derek had a huge crush on Kate Summers (Erin Gray), Ricky’s dad’s assistant. Some highlights:
Bateman’s other early roles include “Little House on the Prairie” and “Valerie.” When do you remember first seeing him on screen?