It's Your Move
|It's Your Move|
|Created by||Ron Leavitt|
Michael G. Moye
|Written by||Al Aidekman|
Fred Fox, Jr.
Michael G. Moye
|Directed by||Peter Bonerz|
|Theme music composer||Rik Howard|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Executive producer(s)||Ron Leavitt|
Michael G. Moye
John Maxwell Anderson
Fred Fox, Jr.
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Embassy Television|
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original release||September 26, 1984 –|
February 23, 1985
The show centered on Matthew Burton (Bateman), a teenage scam artist who lived in a Van Nuys, California, apartment with his older sister Julie (Cast) and widowed mother Eileen (Kaye). Matt ran various underhanded dealings with his high school friends, especially his sidekick Eli (Adam Sadowsky), such as term paper sales, exam answer keys, and blackmail.
The status quo of Matthew's world changed forever in the series' pilot, when Norman Lamb (Garrison) moved into the apartment across the hall. A quick-witted but impoverished writer from Chicago, Norman struck up a friendship with Eileen and the two were soon dating. Dismayed that his mother had chosen someone so far beneath her, Matt set upon sabotaging their relationship, but soon finds he has met his match—Norman reveals himself to be cut from the same cloth as Matthew, and foils plot after plot.
- Jason Bateman as Matthew Burton
- Tricia Cast as Julie Burton
- Ernie Sabella as Lou Donatelli
- Caren Kaye as Eileen Burton
- David Garrison as Norman Lamb
"The Dregs of Humanity" episode
A notable episode was a two-parter entitled "The Dregs of Humanity". In the first half of the episode, Eli loses the school's money that had been trusted to Matt for hiring a band for a school dance. To cover the loss, Matthew crafts the rise and fall of a band—The Dregs of Humanity—and acts as their manager. The fictitious band, which actually consisted of four skeletons stolen from the biology lab (and controlled by strings with a smoke machine to cover them up), is a little too successful and Matthew soon finds himself agreeing to allow Norman an interview with the band for Music Press magazine, figuring that if the truth ever comes out, Norman will be humiliated. The interview only fuels the Dregs' popularity, and this sets up the cliffhanger: the Palladium calls and offers a $20,000 gig for the Dregs. While heretofore willing to let the Dregs retire, the money is too enticing and Matt agrees to the gig.
In the second part of the episode, Matthew is scrambling to explain why The Dregs failed to show up to a sold-out concert. To make matters worse, Norman is starting to suspect that the band doesn't exist and Matthew gets sued. He finally has the brilliant idea to send the "band" to a watery grave by concocting a story that the "band" drove off a cliff into the ocean. In a later episode, it is revealed that the fake band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Series changes and cancellation
In episode 14, "Caught in the Act," Matthew's mother found out what Matthew had been up to. Matthew then stopped playing his tricks. For the last four episodes, the show's original premise was completely ignored. This may have been a result of letters that NBC received from parents of high school-aged boys. According to Bateman, the reason the show was cancelled was because NBC was receiving “letters from mothers across the country whose kids were getting into trouble at school by mimicking Mathew’s (Bateman) antics”.
The show's creators and executive producers were Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt, who just 3 years later would take the harder tone of the It's Your Move concept and put it in an entirely different context: Fox's Married... with Children, in which Garrison starred for four seasons (and was also produced by Embassy Communications).
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Pilot"||Peter Bonerz||Ron Leavitt & Michael G. Moye||September 26, 1984|
|2||"Put to the Test"||Linda Day||Al Aidekman||October 3, 1984|
|3||"Dating Games"||Arlando Smith||Ron Leavitt & Michael G. Moye||October 17, 1984|
|4||"Night Work"||TBA||TBA||October 24, 1984|
|5||"Pajama Party"||John Pasquin||Fred Fox, Jr.||October 31, 1984|
|6||"Love Letters"||John Tracy||Sandy Sprung & Marcy Vosburgh||November 14, 1984|
|7||"Dad and Me"||Bob Lally||Fred Fox, Jr. & Al Aidekman||November 21, 1984|
|8||"The Rival"||TBA||TBA||November 28, 1984|
|9||"Top Dog"||Tony Singletary||Pamela Norris||December 5, 1984|
|10||"Don't Leave Home Without It"||TBA||TBA||December 12, 1984|
|11||"The Christmas Show"||TBA||TBA||December 19, 1984|
|12||"The Dregs of Humanity: Part 1"||TBA||TBA||January 2, 1985|
|13||"The Dregs of Humanity: Part 2"||TBA||TBA||January 9, 1985|
|14||"Caught in the Act"||TBA||TBA||January 26, 1985|
|15||"Eli's Song"||TBA||TBA||February 2, 1985|
|16||"A Woman Is Just a Woman"||Tony Singletary||Fred Fox, Jr. & Al Aidekman||February 9, 1985|
|17||"The Experts"||TBA||TBA||February 16, 1985|
|18||"Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"||TBA||TBA||February 23, 1985|
|1985||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actor in a Television Comedy Series||Jason Bateman||Nominated|||
|Best New Comedy or Drama Television Series||Nominated|||
|1986||Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series||Tricia Cast||Nominated|||
- Weinman, Jaime (3 July 2009). Weekend Viewing: It's Your Move, Maclean's, Retrieved December 15, 2010
- Childs, Mike T. (2004). The Rocklopedia Fakebandica. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 59. ISBN 0-312-32944-X.
- Holston, Noel (26 September 1984). TV's junior con man proves oddly endearing, Ottawa Citizen, Retrieved December 15, 2010
- Duffy, Mike (Knight-Ridder) (28 September 1984). 'It's Your Move' Shows Promise, The Beaver County Times, Retrieved December 15, 2010
- Jicha, Tom (26 September 1984). NBC makes the wrong move with new sitcom, The Miami News, Retrieved December 15, 2010 (noting that debut episode of the series had to go up against Dynasty and a miniseries installment)
- "6th Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "7th Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2014.