The Americans' Frank Langella has joined the cast of Showtime's new half-hour comedy series Kidding; accompanying fellow actors Jim Carrey (The Truman Show) and Catherine Keener (Get Out, Death to Smoochy) on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind helmer Michel Gondry's (Be Kind Rewind) newest project. The 10-episode series is 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.
Langella (Dracula, Frost/Nixon) portrays Seb, the man who helped Jeff build his show from a school project to a nationally syndicated cultural touchstone with a multi-million-dollar merchandising empire. He struggles to balance his growing concern for Jeff with his need to keep his onscreen persona from radically changing. Keener is on board as main show-within-a-show puppeteer Deirdre, who thanklessly builds the puppets but never gets to voice them.
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."