Kidding Showtime

With 2018 marking the 50th anniversary for “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” it’s hard not to think of iconic children’s TV host Fred Rogers when watching Showtime’s new series “Kidding” (premieres Sunday, 9pm). After all, it’s about squeaky clean children’s host Jeff Pickles (Jim Carrey), who drinks milk and avoids curse words.

But Mr Pickles is no Mr Rogers, in my opinion. He lacks his awareness and sensitivity. Mr Rogers got the jokes at his expense, but it doesn’t feel like Pickles does. When Pickles’ family begins falling apart, he handles it by talking to everyone as though they are four years old. That earns him eye rolls and condemnation. “I think that there’s just a real concern for his stability,” show creator David Holstein (“Weeds”) said during the summer TCA tour when critics questioned why Pickles doesn’t earn Rogers-like respect from those around him. The other characters are looking at “this creepy weirdo at the center of it that believes in all these naive, optimistic things, and it’s very easy to look down on that person and not empathize with them.”

The premiere ep, which Showtime made available early to non subscribers for sampling through YouTube, Facebook,, gives you an uneasy feeling even though it’s unclear which direction Pickles is headed in. “What happens [to him] is so challenging that I would think that everyone would assume that there will be a nervous breakdown,” Carrey said during Showtime’s TCA presentation. “And it might not even be that. It might be them who is having a nervous breakdown. That’s the wonderful thing about this show. I think we’re going to be on a journey to find out that everyone is going through the same change and they’re being forced to by circumstances.”

In the end, this odyssey about an iconic kids TV host feels more real than make-believe and that’s to the show’s credit.

The Daily


Breezeline Mobile Up & Running

Breezeline’s mobile phone service has officially been turned on throughout its footprint.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Jun 13
2024 American Broadband Congress Conference Registration is Open!
Jun 18
2024 FAXIES Awards FAXIES Celebration on June 18th.
Jul 1
2024 Most Powerful Women Awards Nominations Open July 1st, 2024.
Aug 19
2024 Top Ops Awards The Magazine releases August 19, 2024.
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact Rob Hudgins, [email protected], for more information.