Get ready, The King of Queens fans. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leah Remini is set to join CBS’s Kevin Can Wait as a series regular for the upcoming sophomore season. Kevin Can Wait currently stars Remini’s former onscreen husband Kevin James from the same network’s The King of Queens, which ran for nine seasons and ended in 2007. The news comes only three weeks after NBC passed on Remini’s female influenced remake of What About Bob?, which was called What About Barb?
Remini will reprise her role as Vanessa Cellucci, who was introduced on the two-part Season 1 finale of Kevin Can Wait. Vanessa is described as “a tough, wise-cracking police officer,” who once worked with Kevin before he retired. The two characters were last seen working together to catch a fraudulent art dealer, which evolved into a much more complicated case.
The season finale brought in impressive ratings for the sitcom. Both part 1 and part 2 of the finale,which aired a week apart, ranked as the top scripted series for both Thursday nights in the 18-49 demographic. Kevin Can Wait ended up being the top ranked new comedy on broadcast television during the 2016-2017 season.
Both James and Remini spoke with Entertainment Tonight in early May to discuss their onscreen reunion and their relationship since the finale of The King of Queens. James said, “We’re always in touch. She’s in my life forever. I can’t get rid of her!” Remini added, “We’ve seen each other.” She also said that she enjoyed “reuniting the two characters” during her appearance on Kevin Can Wait.
Both Remini and James have kept busy since the end of their beloved sitcom. Remini starred on ABC’s short-lived comedy Family Tools, as well as TV Land’s The Exes. She entered the world of reality television when she competed on Season 17 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, ultimately leaving the competition in fifth place. She also starred in the TLC reality show Leah Remini: It’s All Relative and most recently in A&E’s documentary Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. James focused on films following the end of The King of Queens. He has starred in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown Ups, Zookeeper, and Here Comes the Boom, as well as many other comedies. James also serves as a co-creator and executive producer of Kevin Can Wait.
Kevin Can Wait also stars Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Ryan Cartwright, Mary-Charles Jones, James DiGiacomo, Leonard Earl Howze, Lenny Venito, and Gary Valentine.