Showtime's new half-hour comedy series Kidding is already a show of "firsts": the project marks actor/comedian Jim Carrey's first regular series role in twenty years. Now comes word that Catherine Keener (Get Out, Death to Smoochy) has been cast opposite Carrey in her first series regular role. Created by showrunner Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope) and directed by Carrey's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind helmer Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind), the 10-episode series is set to be Carrey will executive produced by Carrey, Holstein, Gondry, Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Ozark), Jim Garavente, Raffi Adlan and Michael Aguilar.
Kidding centers on Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles (Carrey), 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.
Keener has been tapped to play the main show-within-a-show puppeteer Deirdre, "who thanklessly builds all the puppets on the hit children's show hosted by Jeff (Carrey) while never being allowed to voice them. She struggles to take the simple lessons preached by Jeff and apply them to the darker complications of actual parenting."
David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks, sees the returning Carrey and Gondry as having the potential to recreate their magic from Eternal Sunshine:
"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. With his Eternal Sunshine partner Michel Gondry on board to direct, we are on our way to a magnetic, volcanic and emotional viewing experience."