Leah Remini is back with her man — and it appears to be for good this time. Remini has landed a role as a series regular on longtime TV husband Kevin James’ latest CBS sitcom, Kevin Can Wait. Leah will reprise her role as wise-cracking undercover policewoman Vanessa Cellucci when the CBS comedy returns for its second season next fall, according to Deadline.
Exactly one decade ago, Remini and James ended their reign as one of TV’s longest-married couples when their previous sitcom, The King of Queens, ended its nine-season run in May 2007 with a two-part finale that almost had longtime lovebirds Doug and Carrie Heffernan (James, Remini) headed for divorce. The final scenes had the couple in China adopting a baby just as they found out Carrie was pregnant. Flash forward to one year later and the Heffernan household had two screaming babies and an old man (Jerry Stiller) still living in the basement.
After The King of Queens signed off, James made the switch to big screen flicks while Remini tooled with a few other sitcoms and a doomed stint on The Talk. James returned to TV in the duo’s former King of Queens Monday night timeslot for Kevin Can Wait last fall, but some fans had trouble adjusting to a new wife (played by Erinn Hayes) by his side.
Now, Kevin Can Wait fans can have the best of both worlds. Leah will play James’ cop sidekick — his work wife, if you will (although his character is supposed to be retired, so that should be interesting.) Remini previously reunited with her longtime CBS co-star for the two-part Kevin Can Wait first season finale, appropriately titled, “The Sting of Queens.”
It’s not all that surprising that Remini, although busy with other projects, signed on to work with her favorite leading man. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Leah revealed that The King of Queens had a special place in her heart and that she mourned its end.
“There are no words to describe it,” Leah told BuzzFeed. “Kevin loved the show, but his film career was taking off and he didn’t want it to end up being the show that trickled off… He was right, but I’m still mourning that loss. I can’t really watch the reruns because I still feel that show in my bones.”
While Leah is all in for another round with her made-for-TV man, James previously downplayed the chances of casting Remini or any of his other King of Queens co-stars (with the exception of his brother, Gary Valentine, who seems to make cameos in all of his big and small screen projects) on his new show.
“I want this show to take on its own life and become its own thing. It can’t help but be compared as it is, but I want to reduce that as much as possible,” the actor told TV Guide last fall.
Now that Kevin has decided that he can’t wait to get back with Leah, it leaves James’ second TV wife Erinn Hayes as a bit of a third wheel as CBS’ No. 1-rated comedy heads into its sophomore season. There’s no denying Kevin and Leah’s chemistry; the two are truly a match made in TV heaven.
Leah Remini recently starred in the NBC comedy pilot What About Barb?, and a second season of her controversial A&E documentary, Scientology and the Aftermath, just got greenlit for a second season.
You can see Leah Remini on Kevin Can Wait when the hit sitcom returns to CBS for Season 2 starting Monday, Sept. 25.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]