Jason Bateman inks 20th TV deal

Pact comes on the heels of his pilot directing debut

Hot off his pilot directing debut with "Do Not Disturb," Jason Bateman has inked a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the one-year pact, Bateman will develop series projects for the studio through his F+A Prods. banner, on which he will serve as producer and director.

20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman were impressed by Bateman's work on "Disturb," which went on to become the only live-action comedy pilot picked up to series at Fox.

"He did an excellent job on the pilot visually, brought great energy and enthusiasm to it and, as an actor, he really understands how to talk to and motivate actors," said Newman, who also is an occasional Bateman golf partner. "Hopefully he will be a better director than golfer."

Bateman, who starred on the 20th TV-produced "Arrested Development," kept the tongue -and-cheek tone in his remarks about the pact.

"Dana and Gary have always made me feel so welcome in their house, and getting my own room now is an exciting start for F+A Prods.," he said, referring to the office space his company will receive as part of the deal. "Unfortunately, Gary's demanding that our first project together be a decorating trip down to Ikea for a tchotchke run."

Bateman also is on board to provide the voice for a character in Mitch Hurwitz's Fox comedy "Sit Down, Shut Up," from Sony TV and 20th TV.

Bateman, who next will be seen in "Hancock," recently wrapped "State of Play" and "This Side of the Truth." He is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and attorney Tom Hoberman.
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