Can Jim Carrey a 'toon? The answer is a resounding yes: Three animated Carrey character-inspired shows are hitting the tube in hopes that even the slimmest Carrey connection (two of the series can't use his likeness) will mean ratings gold. So far, here's what he's spawned on Saturday morning:
The Mask finds Stanley Ipkiss alive and banking. ''It doesn't really matter that he can't look like Carrey's face,'' says producer Gary Hartle. ''He can't copyright his timing, his action, his broad gestures, which were all first done in cartoons.'' It's working: The show is CBS' second highest rated in the key 2-to-11-year-old demographic.
Dumb and Dumber (ABC) No Carrey likeness in this newcomer either, although his chipped tooth is present. ''We take it as a compliment if people think of him, but it wasn't a conscious thing,'' says executive producer Sasha Emerson. ''We felt it was about a fantastic comic duo like Hope and Crosby, Lenny and Squiggy.''
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective(CBS) This series actually does have permission to use Carrey's likeness, and its creators are aiming for a total replica. ''We're trying to stay as close to the movie and the character as possible,'' says Morgan Creek executive vice president Ken Schapiro. Look for a big promotional push after the Ace sequel opens.
Anybody worried about too much of a good thing? ''Yes, because it gets brought up in the press,'' says Emerson. ''But it's the same thing Carrey's management worried about when those three movies came out in one year, and look what happened.''