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)

Susan Sarandon takes a stand against SAG

The simmering feud between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists appears ready to finally hit a boil. Today AFTRA is expected to finally ratify its primetime deal with producers and studio — an arrangement that SAG is vehemently opposing, mostly because it’s hoping to strike its own sweet deal in the coming months, and any kind of actors-union precedent will make things trickier.

tjndc5-5b5nkmx58mg1fa46jezi_layout.jpgVariety has a nice breakdown of all the possible scenarios (11 to be exact) for what will happen if the AFTRA deal goes through, or if it somehow gets scuttled. But what I’ve been wondering lately is, where do our local celebs stand on the possibility of another Hollywood strike?

We’ve already seen that Rye native Justine Bateman was one of the first to stick her neck out for SAG. She’s since been joined by A-listers like Jack Nicholson, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.

Still, the AFTRA forces are mobilizing, and it looks like Susan Sarandon is ready to get vocal. Really, was there any doubt that the vocal Pound Ridger wouldn’t speak up sooner or later. According to the Chicago Tribune, she’s one of 600 actors (including Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin) who signed a letter in support of the AFTRA deal.

Meanwhile, George Clooney doesn’t have a dog in this fight. He just wants the two sides to stop “pitting artist against artist.” Still, if the can’t-we-all-just-get-along angle doesn’t work, I’m sure he’d settle for a little artist-on-artist action.

(AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

Justine Bateman’s SAG solidarity

The Screen Actors Guild appears to be having a hard time luring any A-list celebs to join their potentially strike-inducing cause. But one of the few who was happy to lend their name to the cause is Justine Bateman. It’s just one of the many causes the Rye native has adopted lately.

SAG’s main goal is to block the ratification of a deal that its sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA),  put together with television producers. At issue, according to Variety, are the terms for “new-media jurisdiction and compensation, middle-class actor salaries, DVD residuals, force majeure protections and product-integration protections.” SAG is hoping to persuade enough of its 44,000 members to put the kibutz on the AFTRA deal, potentially throwing a monkey wrench into the fall TV shows currently filming (not to mention several films, like Ron Howard’s “Angels and Demons,” that were already seriously delayed by the writers strike).

Given how much the WGA’s efforts cost the entertainment biz, it could turn out that there’s very little public sympathy for yet another Hollywood strike. Though Batemab was joined at a recent SAG rally by folks like Ed Asner, Marg Helgenberger (who is Rosenberg’s wife), The Office’s Kate Flannery, and Sex and the City’s Willie Garson, according to Entertainment Weekly there weren’t many Clooneys and Pitts — or for that matter, Jason Batemans — to be found at the event.

(Photo: ABC/Sergi Bachlakov)

Alan Ruck gets hitched

Noticed this in a little throwaway reference in Variety story, “The Tonys Go Hollywood,” which mentioned “Newlyweds Alan Ruck and Mireille Enos.” tjndc5-5eg68s3enq0151zqf41r_layout.jpgIn case the name doesn’t immediatly ring a bell, does this help: Frye? Frye?

The recent Piermont resident — who, in addition to being Ferris Bueller’s hypochondriac best friend, also starred in “Spin City” and, most recently, the ESPN series “The Bronx is Burning” — got divorced from his first wife, Claudia Stefany, back in 2005. According to Wikipedia, the marriage to Enos actually took place on January 4.

My colleague, Jenny Higgons, who wrote a fantastic profile of Ruck back in 2006 (read the PDF here) learned through the Piermont grapvine that, in addition to getting married, he also recently relocated to the L.A. area. We’ll miss ya, Alan!

(Ruck in front of Bunburry Coffee Shop in Piermont: Photo by Mark Vergari / Rockland Magazine)

More things we were 100 percent wrong about: People are actually watching ‘Celebrity Apprentice’!

The Golden Globes weren’t the only thing on TV recently that we completely, horribly misjudged. Turns out that Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” — which I’d teased for getting rescheduled not once, but twice — is actually a hit. Sort of.

Granted, on its premiere night, it was basically going up against two dozen reruns. And technically it wasn’t an overall No. 1 on Jan. 3. But it did garner an 11 share in adults 18-49 and 11.08 million viewers overall, according to Variety. Which is the best the show has seen since 2005. Plus, in the key 18-49 demo, it was indeed No. 1.

Of course, come the following week — and the return of CSI and Grey’s Anatomy to Thursday night — ratings for “Celebrity Apprentice” dropped precipitously. The show lost 3 million viewers, reported the NY Post, and dropped to 8.1 million overall.

‘Wit’ meets Botox: Joan Rivers’ new autobiographical play

joanrivers.jpgCan’t get enough Joan Rivers? Lucky you, the former Larchmont resident is going to be starring in her very own autobiographical play titled—what else?—”The Joan Rivers Theater Project.” Set to open February 13 at the Geffen Playhouse, the play will be a four-character act set inside her dressing room immediately before an awards show. According to Variety, “Rivers takes a look at aging, life’s ups and downs, and being a woman in Hollywood.”

Wait, wait, hold on a sec. Rivers in a dressing room before an awards show? What about that is remotely autobiographical? When has Rivers done anything before awards shows other than accost celebrities or crack wise on her VH1 blog?

Still, for those who want Joan, Joan, and more Joan (and just for good measure, a fourth Joan), this play foots the bill. While I’m not a lifelong fan, after reading her hi-larious liveblogging of this year’s Emmy Awards, I’m a little intrigued. Anyone in LA out there who had a chance to see the play while it was being workshoped at San Francisco’s Magic Theater in August? Any good?

(AP Photo/ Max Nash)

Denzel set to “Take” Pelham

AP/Louis LanzanoMount Vernon native (and recent mayoral king-maker) Denzel Washington will be starring in an update of the 1974 Walter Matthau movie, “The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3,” about hijackers taking a subway train’s passengers hostage for ransom. The update is being written by David Koepp, the same guy who wrote the forthcoming “SpiderMan 4,” and will be directed by Tony Scott.

Also interesting: Steve Tisch (Giants owner, former Scarsdale resident, and part-time film producer) is also going to be one of the co-producers on “Pelham,” according to Variety.

I only hope it doesn’t take distract him from the really important Tisch project at hand: “Forrest Gump 2” — a.k.a “Forrest Schools Eli Manning.”