By Wanlei Ma

Jim Carrey is set to return to TV in his first regular role in over two decades. Better yet, he's reuniting with his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry.

The pair will team up for a comedy series called Kidding, set to debut next year.

Carrey will play a character called Jeff/Mr Pickles, a children's TV icon and head of a multimillion-dollar empire, reports News.com.au.

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But when his off-screen life falls apart, he finds no solace or comfort in the simple stories and fables he's told for so many years.

Carrey's not new to playing a beloved entertainer with pathos - he had previously received rave reviews for his portrayal of real-life comedian Andy Kauffman in 1999's Man on the Moon.

Though the Ace Ventura star is primarily known for his comedic work, on the rare occasions Carrey has veered into dramatic roles, he has earnt plaudits for his performances, including for The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine.

Kidding was created by Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope) and will be executive produced by Carrey, Jason Bateman, Raffi Adlan and Michael Aguilar.

The series will be produced by US cable network Showtime and will be streamed locally on Stan which has a content agreement with Showtime.

Kidding is an extension of Carrey's existing relationship with Showtime. He is an executive producer on Showtime's stand-up comedy series, I'm Dying Up Here, also on Stan.

"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 David Nevins said in a statement.

"With his Eternal Sunshine partner Michel Gondry on board to direct, we are on our way to a magnetic, volcanic and emotional viewing experience."

It's not yet clear if Gondry will direct all 10 episodes of Kidding or if he will just helm the first few, setting the tone and aesthetic.

The French indie director made his name in music videos before breaking into the feature scene with Human Nature and then Eternal Sunshine. He also directed The Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind and Mood Indigo.

Carrey's last regular TV role was on In Living Color, an American sketch series created by Damon and Keenen Ivory Wayans that ran from 1990 until 1994.

Carrey made headlines earlier this week with a bizarre red carpet appearance at New York Fashion Week.

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