Leah Remini is already feeling right at home on the set of Kevin Can Wait. Remini, who appeared as an undercover police detective on the two-episode season finale arc last season on the CBS comedy, has reunited with her longtime King of Queens husband Kevin James to shoot scenes for Kevin Can Wait’s revamped second season.
Earlier this summer, Kevin Can Wait fans were shocked to learn that Remini’s guest stint on the season finale two-parter, cleverly titled “The Sting of Queens,” would turn into a full-time role opposite Kevin James and that his former female lead, Erinn Hayes, would be exiting the show. At CBS’ Television Critics Association summer press tour, it was announced that Hayes’ character, Donna Gable, will be killed off of the show as part of a creative rest that will have the show moving forward in time by nine or 10 months.
Amid the controversial casting announcement, Remini captioned an Instagram photo of herself with a bearded Kevin James in which she thanked the Kevin Can Wait cast, crew, and writers for all of the love they have shown her. Remini described it as “an amazing first week” on the set of Kevin Can Wait.
For the second season of Kevin Can Wait, Leah Remini will reprise her role as Vanessa Cellucci, a former detective and new boss to James’ Kevin Gable, according to Deadline. The backstory has James’ character Kevin working for the new security head after a brief retirement from the police force. Kevin Gable and Vanessa Cellucci were once rivals but bonded over a major case in the Kevin Can Wait two-part episode “The Sting of Queens.”
But with Kevin James’ character now a widow, many fans have speculated that Kevin Can Wait will turn into another version of The King of Queens. Remini and James played married couple Doug and Carrie Heffernan from 1998 to 2007 on the CBS comedy about a working class couple living in Rego Park, Queens, New York. The King of Queens aired for nine seasons in CBS’ Monday night 8 p.m. timeslot, which is where Kevin Can Wait will continue to air.
CBS programming execs have already downplayed comparisons of James’ new show to the King of Queens.
When asked by a TCA reporter if Kevin Can Wait is “morphing into King of Queens” by reuniting Remini and James, CBS boss Thom Sherman said, “No, I don’t think so. I think the show speaks for itself and stands for itself. Obviously, the chemistry between Kevin and Leah was amazing in the stunt episode we did at the end of last season, and we decided we want to continue that.”
Leah Remini recently told the Hollywood Reporter she has no idea what her character’s story arc will be and that she was surprised that her two-episode Kevin Can Wait guest stint turned into a full-time job.
“My agent just said, ‘You’re going to be on the show.’ I said, ‘How many episodes?’ He said, ‘No — you’re going to be on the season.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God — that’s amazing!'” Remini told THR.
Kevin James has said very little about the second season of Kevin Can Wait. Last month the actor posted a video of the set getting a makeover ahead of the show’s revamped sophomore season.
Kevin Can Wait returns to CBS for its second season on Sept. 25.
[Featured Image by Jeff Neumann/CBS]