Fox TV owns Jason Bateman … or is it, Jason Bateman owns Fox?

Given the skyrocketing trajectory of Rye native Jason Bateman’s career of late, it can’t be too long til he starts charging millions for photos of his babies, too.

The latest update, via Variety, is that 20th Century Fox has signed a deal with the actor-cum-mogul to develop TV series (as in series, plural). Bateman, you may recall, was already tapped to direct the pilot for “Do Not Disturb,” a new fall series. He’s also been on a role lately with roles in “Hancock,” the upcoming Ricky Gervais comedy “This Side of the Truth,” and the Russell Crowe flick “State of Play.”

So, what will be the first new project Bateman brings to the table under his new deal? Call me crazy, but I seem to recall a certain affection he has for one of his past TV series, and a lingering desire to turn that series into a feature movie. And no, I’m not talking about “The Hogan Family.”

Meanwhile, sis Justine, when she isn’t out shilling for SAG, is also branching out beyond acting. She’s been writing scripts for Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.” I’m not exactly sold on the Daily News’s classification of the show as “red hot,” but I will say this: It’s high time we finaly got a sanitized, family-friendly version of “Charmed.” That Alyssa Milano was showing waaay too much cleavage.

(Jason: AP Photo/Reed Saxon; Justine: ABC Photo / Danny Feld)

Jason Bateman pilots new FOX comedy

Hot off the news that he’s joining the cast of the new Ricky Gervais project, “This Side of the Truth,” — as well as the rumor that there might be an “Arrested Development” movie — tjndc5-5b5kl7lh4cnedh92ezi_layout.jpgthe former Fox show’s star is returning to the net to direct his own comedy pilot, “The Inn.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Inn” will be like the British show “Upstairs/Downstairs,” only set in a hip NYC hotel. It should be noted that Bateman, a Rye native, has directed before — he helmed one episode of “AD,” as well as a handful of other pilots and the short-lived series “For Your Love.”

No word yet on when the new show is supposed to make it on air.

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Highlander-NYPD Blue hybrid gets the LoHud seal of approval

Among the things that bode well for “New Amsterdam”:

• It gets to debut tonight after “American Idol,” just about the cushiest timeslot in all of television.

fox_37-cloisters-ent33a305.jpg• The pilot was directed by Bedford’s Lasse Hallstrom — he of “Hoax,” “Cider House Rules,” and “Chocolat” fame.

• It has a half-decent premise: The protagonist, John Amsterdam, was a Dutch soldier who, in 1694, was blessed by a Native American with the gift of immortality. Or rather, immortality until he finds his one true love. With undertones of “Groundhog Day,” “NYPD Blue” (Amsterdam is now an NYPD cop in present day), and “Highlander,” I really should like this show, but …

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Piermont couple destroys marriage on FOX reality show — FUN, FUN, FUN!

Will somebody please explain to me why 24-year-old Frank Cleri, a NYC police officer and Piermont resident, would choose to bring his wife, Lauren (below), onto FOX’s “Moment of Truth” — a show whose whole premise is for contestants to speak truthfully about painful, personal issues — to cop to her own infidelity? And not just talk about it, but admit that she wishes she’d married another man?

lauren-cleri.jpegI understand the desire to earn a few game show bucks. But honesty, did she really think that after peppering her with a series of hard-hitting polygraphed questions, they were going to hold back, to just ask the softball ones like, “As an employee of a hair salon, have you ever told somebody you liked their hair style when you didn’t?”

In order to get to the $100,000 mark on the show, Cleri was asked by her ex-boyfriend if she wishes she’d married him, and she said “yes.” Then the next question: “Are you a good person?” She answered “yes” and, of course, the lie detector disagreed strongly.

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Why did Montel get dropped?

montel-williams.jpgSay it ain’t so, Mo! It was announced on January 30 that “The Montel Williams Show” is coming to an end. Fast. CBS Television Distribution said that it will cease making new episodes and that, in lieu of new broadcasts, it will just supply “Best of Montel” shows instead. Said Montel to the AP, “I can’t say thank you enough to those who’ve welcomed me into their homes for the past 17 years. It has been both an honor and a joy.”

What exactly precipitated the end of the Montel show? Was it due to Rupert Murdoch, Montel’s MS, Health Ledger, or marijuana? A few theories are after the break.

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Aidan Quinn and Julianna Margulies: Rockland’s Newest Power Couple


On TV at least. According to our sister bloggers over at Remote Access, the two stars — Quinn lives in Sneden’s Landing, Margulies was born in Spring Valley — will will be teaming for a FOX mid-season series called “Canterbury’s Law.” And here I predicted, after Quinn’s ill-fated NBC show “The Book of Daniel,” that he would never return to network TV again. Whoops.

The show will center around two married lawyers trying to fix their rocky relationship after their child goes missing. I’m not sure how I feel about any locals turning to FOX these days, especially after its recent treatment of locals like Bedford’s Lasse Hallstrom and Piermont’s Alan Ruck. Just as long as the new show gets the slot following “American Idol,” all will be well.

Lasse Hallstrom quadruple-play


If you’ve been watching FOX lately (which, during the summer, boils down to: if you’ve been watching “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Don’t Forget the Lyrics”) you’ve probably seen trailers for the new fall series, “New Amsterdam,” about a NYC homicide cop who somehow gained immortal powers back during the Dutch-settler era. (If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer on YouTube.) It’s a trippy premise and more than a little intriguing. And with two of the Lower Hudson Valley’s best filmmakers behind it, how can it disappoint?


Those two would be producer Leslie Holleran, of Larchmont, and director Lasse Hallstrom, of Bedford (above). Both have collaborated on nearly every project they’ve done (from “Cider House Rules” to “Chocolat” to “The Hoax”) and both are listed as exec producers. But lest it seem like the two have gone all Aaron Sorkin — forgoing steady film work for more risky TV projects — Hallstrom in fact has three, count em three, films in the works.

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