It's Your Move is an American sitcom television series created by Ron Leavitt and Michael G. Moye, starring Jason Bateman, Tricia Cast, Caren Kaye, Ernie Sabella, David Garrison, and Garrett Morris. The show originally aired on NBC from September 26, 1984 to 1985.

It's Your Move
It's your move title.jpg
Created byRon Leavitt
Michael G. Moye
Written byAl Aidekman
Fred Fox, Jr.
Ron Leavitt
Michael G. Moye
Pamela Norris
Sandy Sprung
Marcy Vosburgh
Directed byPeter Bonerz
Jim Drake
John Pasquin
Tony Singletary
Arlando Smith
StarringJason Bateman
Caren Kaye
Tricia Cast
Ernie Sabella
David Garrison
Adam Sadowsky
Theme music composerRik Howard
Bob Wirth
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes18
Executive producer(s)Ron Leavitt
Michael G. Moye
Producer(s)Al Aidekman
John Maxwell Anderson
Kathleen Green
Fred Fox, Jr.
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Embassy Television
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 26, 1984 (1984-09-26) –
February 23, 1985 (1985-02-23)


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 even 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 manages to foil Matthew's plots.


"The Dregs of Humanity" episodeEdit

A notable episode was a two-parter entitled "The Dregs of Humanity".[1] 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.[2] 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.

The second installment of the two part episode was scheduled to air the following week, but was preempted by a speech by then-President Reagan.[2]

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.[2]

Series changes and cancellationEdit

The series opened with some positive reception from critics,[3][4][5] but its time slot competed with the popular show Dynasty on ABC[5] and the series was canceled in early 1985.

In episode 14, "Caught in the Act," Matthew renounced his scheming after Eileen found out what he had been up to. 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”.

Production notesEdit

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).

Guest starsEdit


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Peter BonerzRon Leavitt & Michael G. MoyeSeptember 26, 1984 (1984-09-26)
2"Put to the Test"Linda DayAl AidekmanOctober 3, 1984 (1984-10-03)
3"Dating Games"Arlando SmithRon Leavitt & Michael G. MoyeOctober 17, 1984 (1984-10-17)
4"Night Work"Jim DrakeRon Leavitt & Michael G. MoyeOctober 24, 1984 (1984-10-24)
5"Pajama Party"John PasquinFred Fox, Jr.October 31, 1984 (1984-10-31)
6"Love Letters"John TracySandy Sprung & Marcy VosburghNovember 14, 1984 (1984-11-14)
7"Dad and Me"Bob LallyFred Fox, Jr. & Al AidekmanNovember 21, 1984 (1984-11-21)
8"The Rival"TBATBANovember 28, 1984 (1984-11-28)
9"Top Dog"Tony SingletaryPamela NorrisDecember 5, 1984 (1984-12-05)
10"Don't Leave Home Without It"TBATBADecember 12, 1984 (1984-12-12)
11"The Christmas Show"TBATBADecember 19, 1984 (1984-12-19)
12"The Dregs of Humanity: Part 1"TBATBAJanuary 2, 1985 (1985-01-02)
13"The Dregs of Humanity: Part 2"TBATBAJanuary 9, 1985 (1985-01-09)
14"Caught in the Act"TBATBAJanuary 26, 1985 (1985-01-26)
15"Eli's Song"TBATBAFebruary 2, 1985 (1985-02-02)
16"A Woman Is Just a Woman"Tony SingletaryFred Fox, Jr. & Al AidekmanFebruary 9, 1985 (1985-02-09)
17"The Experts"TBATBAFebruary 16, 1985 (1985-02-16)
18"Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"TBATBAFebruary 23, 1985 (1985-02-23)

Award nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Recipient Result Ref.
1985 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor in a Television Comedy Series Jason Bateman Nominated [6]
Best New Comedy or Drama Television Series
Nominated [6]
1986 Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series Tricia Cast Nominated [7]


The show was rerun (albeit in edited form) on the USA Network from 1989 to 1992.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Weinman, Jaime (3 July 2009). Weekend Viewing: It's Your Move, Maclean's, Retrieved December 15, 2010
  2. ^ a b c Childs, Mike T. (2004). The Rocklopedia Fakebandica. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 59. ISBN 0-312-32944-X.
  3. ^ Holston, Noel (26 September 1984). TV's junior con man proves oddly endearing, Ottawa Citizen, Retrieved December 15, 2010
  4. ^ Duffy, Mike (Knight-Ridder) (28 September 1984). 'It's Your Move' Shows Promise, The Beaver County Times, Retrieved December 15, 2010
  5. ^ a b 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)
  6. ^ a b "6th Youth In Film Awards". Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  7. ^ "7th Youth In Film Awards". Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2014.

External linksEdit