Hollywood Flashback: Jason Bateman Starred on 'Silver Spoons' in 1982

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Jason Bateman (left) played Derek Taylor, a friend and corrupting influence to Ricky Schroder's wealthy Ricky Stratton, on NBC's 'Silver Spoons.'

"We loved Jason immediately … He got the edgy, mischievous kid character right away," says executive producer Bob Illes of Bateman, who appears to be a frontrunner for an Emmy nomination for 'Ozark.'

No less a philosopher than Khloé Kardashian has said, "We all have to start somewhere, and doing something is better than nothing at all." For Jason Bateman, that start was the early-1980s NBC sitcom Silver Spoons.

The Hollywood Reporter gave the show only a brief review with the plot distilled down to: "Son wants love. Dad needs to grow up." While THR seemed to have written Spoons off, the show did pretty well; it aired from 1982 until 1986 and went into syndication after that. Bateman, who appears to be a frontrunner for an Emmy nomination for Ozark (it would be his second for the Netflix show and fourth overall) played the "bad boy" friend to Spoons lead Ricky Schroder.

"We loved Jason immediately because he was the perfect foil for Ricky's character," says executive producer Bob Illes. "He got the edgy, mischievous kid character right away." Bateman, who was 13 when he started on the show, speaks about feeling like Huckleberry Finn on the Universal lot. In 2013, he told GQ that his memories were of riding bikes with Schroder, grabbing onto the back of the studio trams and being pulled to Jaws Lake, where they'd wade around looking for goldfish. He said the fun ended when "the tram people sent a letter to our parents saying, 'Can you please have your kids stop wading in the Jaws Lake? They're ruining the effect.' You know, because people are supposed to be afraid of this great white shark." 

This story first appeared in a June stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.