Elastic-faced funnyman Jim Carrey is returning to TV after a very long hiatus.
The actor hasn’t starred in a TV series since 1994, when sketch comedy In Living Color ended its run on Fox. He’s had guest roles on shows like 30 Rock and The Office, and has been back in the spotlight recently for his show I’m Dying Up Here, for which he’s executive producer.
Carrey’s new half-hour series, which is going straight to TV — there’s no need for a pilot test with networks — is titled Kidding, and Showtime has already ordered a 10-episode season.
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The main character, to be played by Carrey, is named Jeff (a.k.a. Mr. Pickles), an icon of children’s TV whose life slowly begins to unravel. His family starts to disintegrate despite his multimillion-dollar empire, and suddenly everything he’s built over the years is rendered useless. He can’t even escape into his world of children’s fantasy.
With his physical comedy chops, it’s easy to see how an actor like Carrey could fully embody this type of role.
Kidding also reunites Carrey with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry, who will direct the show.
“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,” Showtime president and CEO David 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.”
Gondry won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay directing Carrey (and his costar Kate Winslet) in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine.
Showtime, the home of I’m Dying Up Here, looks to be seeking to continue their so-far lucrative relationship with Carrey.
As of this writing, there is no word on a premiere date or a production start.