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As a teen, actor Jason Bateman starred on 1980s sitcoms like It's Your Move. As an adult, he has appeared in such films as Juno, The Change-Up and Horrible Bosses.
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Next up for Bateman was Chicago Sons, a comedy about three brothers and their romantic misadventures. The show was a midseason replacement and was canceled after six months on the air.
Taking a professional risk, Bateman stepped away from his usual sitcom roles for the 2001 series Some of My Best Friends. The show was based the 1997 independent comedy Kiss Me, Guido,
which explored the relationship between a gay man (Bateman) and a straight Italian American man (Danny Nucci) who become roommates. "What makes me laugh about my character is that he's not really as smart or cool or good-looking as he thinks he is. I think this show is the best thing I've ever done," Bateman told The Advocate. Critics and television audiences did not share Bateman's opinion of the show, and it was canceled after only a few episodes.
Bateman entered an uncertain time in his career after the failure of the series. "After 26 years of doing something, most people either switch course or retire ... I was wearing out my welcome on TV; you get certain vibes that they'd rather see someone they hadn't seen before," the actor explained to Vogue.
In 2003, Bateman experienced a professional renaissance with the TV comedy Arrested Development (2003-06, 2013). He played Michael Bluth, a widower with a teenaged son (Michael Cera) who can't seem to break away from his dysfunctional family. Jessica Walter played his domineering mother and Jeffrey Tambor played his quirky father who was facing fraud charges. Each of his adult siblings (played by Will Arnett, Tony Hale, and Portia de Rossi) were uniquely twisted in his or her own special way.
While it never achieved huge ratings, Arrested Development was a critical success. The show was nominated for several Emmy Awards during its three-season run, including a nod for Bateman in 2005 for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series. That same year, Bateman won his first Golden Globe Award for best actor in a musical or comedy series.
After just three seasons on FOX, Arrested Development was canceled by the network in 2006. To fans' delight, however, the series was renewed by Netflix in 2013, with the entire original cast reuniting for its fourth season.
Bateman's work on the initial run of Arrested Development helped revitalize his film career. He landed a string of small and supporting roles in such comedies as 2004's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and 2006's The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. He continued to be in demand for film work after Arrested Development was canceled in 2006. Tackling more dramatic fare, Bateman appeared in the military thriller The Kingdom with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner.
Bateman reteamed with Garner for the 2007 independent comedy Juno about a pregnant teenager (Ellen Page). In the film, he and Garner played a married couple who want to adopt Page's baby. Bateman gave a nuanced performance as a commercial jingle writer who, at mid-life, still harbors dreams of rock stardom and doesn't seem to want to grow up.
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America was introduced to the newest—and possibly the most dysfuctional—family to premiere on television with Arrested Development in 2003. The wealthy Bluths saw their lives come crashing down before them after the arrest of family patriarch George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor). Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is left to pick up the pieces and keep his family together, creating a hilarious dynamic between the ragtag cast, including Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Michael Cera and Will Arnett. Several years after its 2006 cancelation, the series came back into the spotlight in 2013—due in no small part to its enormous, cult-like following.
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