Kevin James and Leah Remini played sparring mates for nine seasons on “The King of Queens” from 1998 to 2007. Other than a Comedy Actor Emmy bid for James in 2006, this highly rated CBS laffer was inexplicably ignored by the TV academy voters. Perhaps Remini’s upcoming guest spot on James’ new CBS show, “Kevin Can Wait” will finally earn her an Emmy nomination.
On Friday (March 24), it was announced that Remini will appear in the two-part finale of the freshman season of the show. James plays a retired New York City police officer who is called back to duty to once again go undercover with another cop, Vanessa Cellucci (Remini), and pretend to be a married couple.
Remini has had a variety of gigs since “The King of Queens” ended a decade ago, include a short stint as a panellist on “The Talk.” She authored a bestselling memoir in 2015, ““Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” and produced and hosted an A&E documentary series, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” last year that has been renewed for a second season.
Her higher profile as of late should stand her in good stead when Emmy voters are reviewing the long lists of actresses in contention for guest spots on comedy series. Name recognition and industry goodwill are key factors in reaping bids in this competitive category.
James created “Kevin Can Wait” with fellow “The King of Queens” executive producers Bruce Helford and Rob Reuben. Rounding out the “Kevin Can Wait” executive producers are another “The King of Queens” alum, Jeff Sussman, and pilot helmer Andy Fickman, who directed James last year both in the film “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and an episode of the children’s sitcom “Liv and Maddie.” “Kevin Can Wait” is shot with a multi-camera setup like “The King of Queens” and reteams James with supporting actor Gary Valentine.
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