Completing a "trade" that began more than eight months ago with Zach Braff appearing on "Arrested Development," Jason Bateman is set to guest-star on an episode of "Scrubs" later this season.
Along with a handful of ornery ostriches.
Bateman's appearance on the NBC show, which is about to begin its fifth season, has been in the works for some time. "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence is an avowed "Arrested Development" fan, and Bateman is friendly with several "Scrubs" writers. Schedule conflicts, however, meant that he wasn't able to do a guest spot last season.
The plan then called for Bateman to work on an episode shot earlier this fall, but his scenes had to be delayed after he had surgery to remove a benign polyp from his throat (production on "Arrested" also stopped while he recuperated). The "Scrubs" crew shot the rest of the episode and will film Bateman's scenes in January, Lawrence says. Provided Braff is over his ostrich-induced trauma by then.
About the birds: In the episode, Braff's J.D. is miffed that a patient (Bateman) whom he worked hard to treat didn't offer so much as a thank you. J.D. and Turk (Donald Faison) decide to track him down and extract a word of gratitude from him. What ensues "will be a sign of how weird the show has gotten on some level," Lawrence says.
"So we go by his house, and he has a sign on his gate that says 'Beware of birds.' And when we go into his gated property, we see about 10 ostriches," Braff says, laughing.
"He's a domestic ostrich farmer," Lawrence adds. Braff, still laughing, picks up the thread: "He's got 10 domestic ostriches, and they surround us. One of him puts his hoof, or whatever you call it, on the gate and locks it. And they surround us and beat the hell out of us."
Lawrence: "By the way, on a real note, if you're ever doing a TV show or movie, ostriches are the scariest animals on earth. They kick with the power of a horse (but) with a claw on the end" of their feet."
An airdate for Bateman's "Scrubs" episode hasn't been scheduled yet.
A new season of "Scrubs" starts Jan. 3 on NBC (Sunflower Broadband channels 8 and 14.