Showtime announced today that the network has picked-up a new half-hour comedy series called “Kidding,” which will star Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey (The Truman Show). This will be Carrey’s first series regular role in more than two decades, and will reunite him with Oscar winner Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), who will direct the project.
With a 10-episode first-season order for “Kidding,” Carrey will also serve as executive producer with Gondry, Emmy nominee Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Jim Garavente (Bad Words), Raffi Adlan (The Green Hornet) and Michael Aguilar (I’m Dying up Here).
“Kidding” was created by Dave Holstein (WEEDS, Raising Hope), who wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
In the new series, Carrey plays Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, an icon of children’s television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him – who also anchors a multimillion dollar branding empire. But when this beloved personality’s family – wife, two sons, sister and father – begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairy tale or fable or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: a kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
“No one inhabits a character like Jim Carrey, and this role – which is like watching Humpty Dumpty after the fall – is going to leave television audiences wondering how they went so long without him,” Nevins said. “With his Eternal Sunshine partner Michel Gondry on board to direct, we are on our way to a magnetic, volcanic and emotional viewing experience.”
Carrey has won two Golden Globes as a lead actor, in 1999 for The Truman Show (Motion Picture – Drama) and a year later for Man on the Moon (Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy). His other top screen credits include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (under Gondry’s direction), Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bruce Almighty, The Mask, Me, Myself & Irene, Yes Man and Dumb and Dumber. An executive producer on the Showtimeseries “I’m Dying up Here,” Carrey starred for several seasons on the series In Living Color.
Gondry won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which he directed Carrey and Kate Winslet. Gondry’s other screen credits include Microbe & Gasoline, Mood Indigo, The We and the I, The Green Hornet, Be Kind Rewind, The Science of Sleep and Human Nature.