Question: This has been bugging the heck out of me and my mom. What show was Jason Bateman on during the '80s? I know it was really popular, and now he's starring in some new show. Thanks. Nicole
Televisionary: Well, Nicole, since young Mr. Bateman appeared in several shows during the instant-gratification decade, I'll just assume you're talking about The Hogan Family, which ran on NBC from March 1986 to July 1991. The series began life as Valerie, a vehicle for sitcom vet Valerie Harper (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda), who played a put-upon mom trying to balance career and domestic life.
Married to airline pilot Michael Hogan (Josh Taylor), Valerie Hogan oversaw a multi-kid household that included man-about-town teen David (Bateman) and twins Mark (Jeremy Licht) and Willie (Danny Ponce). In the fall of 1987, Harper had a falling out with the powers-that-be behind the scenes and she walked. Her character on the show was eventually killed off, forcing a title change to Valerie's Family and then The Hogan Family the next year. As the series moved along, stories began to focus more and more on David; producers undoubtedly hoped to create a star along the lines of Family Ties's Michael J. Fox or Growing Pains's Kirk Cameron.
Of course, you may well remember Bateman, who currently co-stars in CBS's Will & Grace wannabe Some of My Best Friends (Wednesdays, 8 pm/ET), from his work in such shows as Little House on the Prairie, Silver Spoons, or more recent efforts like George & Leo or Chicago Sons.