Jim Carrey is returning to TV after 23 years.

The 55-year-old actor - who was previously a small screen regular in 'In Living Color' - will team up with his 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' director Michel Gondry for Showtime's upcoming comedy series 'Kidding', in which he will play a children's TV icon whose family begins to implode.

The full synopsis for the show explains: ''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.''

The programme - which was created by Dave Holstein - will air for 10-episodes, each lasting 30 minutes, and network executives have promised viewers are in for a ''magnetic, volcanic and emotional'' show.

Showtime president David Nevins said in a statement: ''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.''

Both Jim and Michel will serve as executive producers on the programme, alongside Jason Bateman.