Leah Remini Joins ‘Kevin Can Wait’ Season 2 as Series Regular

Leah Remini Kevin James
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Leah Remini is joining the Kevin James sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” as a series regular for Season 2, Variety has learned.

The series stars James as a New York cop who retires after 20 years on the force, only to discover retirement is not as easy as he thought it would be. Remini previously appeared in the Season 1 finale as Vanessa Cellucci, an undercover cop and the former partner of James’ character. She will reprise that role for the show’s second season this fall. James and Remini previously starred together as husband and wife for nine seasons on the hit series “The King of Queens,” which also aired on CBS.

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Remini has been in the news frequently the past few years for her very public departure from the Church of Scientology. She has become an outspoken critic of the Church, publishing her memoir “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” in 2015. In 2016, her docu-series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” debuted on A&E. That series was recently picked up for a second season.

She is repped by APA, Art2perform, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman.

The CBS sitcom stars James, Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones, James DiGiacomo, Ryan Cartwright, Lenny Venito, Gary Valentine, and Leonard Earl Howze. James, Rock Reuben, Rob Long, Jeff Sussman, Andy Fickman, Tony Sheehan, and Steve Mosko are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television.

“Kevin Can Wait” ranked as one of the top new shows of the 2016-17 season, averaging a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers in Live+Same Day Nielsen ratings. In Live+7, the series averaged a 2.2 and 9.2 million viewers per episode.

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  1. David says:

    I dont’ mean any harm but I REALLY can’t believe they’re doing this. I’ve been watching the show regularly since I realized it was on and I think the lady playing his wife is absolutely great in the part. I sure hope they don’t ruin it.. I don’t have anything against Remini but I don’t think it’s going to be the same show once they do this.. Why would you mess up a great show like this? I really doubt I’ll keep watching it once they do this.. It won’t be the same show. . There’s just no way.

  2. Eric says:

    Big mistake. If I wanted to watch the king of queens, I’d go on Netflix. This move is going to bomb, hard. Hell, they may as well bring back Arthur, Spence and Deacon. What a joke.

  3. Tony Maccanello says:

    Kevin is a funny man but he showed us he’s got no class!!! Could have done the show with both of them!!!
    Their chemistry was great on King of Queens but like all comedians, when they get older, they lose something!!!
    What’s I’m really looking forward to is reunion of Will and Grace!!!!
    Kevin your show will never have the ratings the new Will and Grace will!!!!!!

  4. M. Rothstein says:

    When I saw ep. 1 of S1 of KCW, I knew right away that Erinn could in NO way fill Leah’s shoes. Too big to fill. Clearly, on March 23, when CBS agreed to an S2, they HAD to have known that they had signed contracts back from Leah, since the ratings themselves on this show for S1 showed significant declines every Monday night after the airing of the pilot last September. Without Leah agreeing to come on board, what would have been the motivation for CBS to agree to an S2?! Sorry, Erinn, but you should have seen this coming before you even signed on for this show 15 months ago! Leah and Kevin on-screen represent total comic perfection! It’s a rare thing when it happens and the writers should have just started out with Leah in the first place — even sticking with the “Vanessa”/former-partner-of-Kevin schtick. Gee, maybe now, Leah can make up for all the $$$ she foolishly gave to Scientology!!! Go, Leah! You deserve to get back to network TV! And viewers like myself have waited these very long 10 years for it to happen!

  5. Vesta says:

    Great, now I’m excited. I love Leah Remini and I think the show will be much better with her in it.

  6. Patrick says:

    Finally Erinn Hayes out and Leah in. Erinn her acting feels forced and Kevin and Leah is just the best combo.

  7. Nancy Rizzuti's says:

    Wishing the entire Cast good luck , and hoping maybe second season , we r living on Long Island we can get tickets to a show. After trying the entire first season. Good luck to everyone, we know a lot of people in the cast and I hope they will continue to use those hilarious comedians Joey Kola , Joe Starr, Chris Roach hilarious guys

  8. Debra says:

    I don’t understand how this show is thriving. Except for us, we sit through it because we Like the lime up behind it. I watch sitcoms for what they are but he is annoying and too childlike to be likeable. Everyone else on the show works pretty good. He could tone himself down but I don’t see that happening.
    Their bitterness is a little strong for me, Leah and Kevin, but looks like they’re here for another year.

  9. Owen says:

    The problem with Kevin Can Wait is not Ms. Hayes it is Kevin. Same old, same old. Its is like a replay of the old show. and it is not funny the second time around.

  10. Gail says:

    LR was likeable and ok before she became and crusader trying to prove her severing previous affiliations was justified by vilifying them to sell books and tv time. Now I cannot bear to look at her. AND I am not fan and not member of her previous church who I dislike and distrust with great discrimination. I just also dislike and distrust anyone who plays victim for a living with the zeal LR has last few years.

    • ebersmith says:

      Gail, I watched her scientology series and didn’t get that. The idea seemed to be one of preventing more victims rather than highlighting her own victimhood.

      • linda shaffer says:

        I love her and her show. She’s doing a Public Service with Mike Rinder. As far her being in Kevin can Wait, I’m looking forward to it.

  11. Mark says:

    Geez–I hope this doesn’t slow down her series exposing the evil cult scientology. Now THAT’S a great show!!

  12. Becky says:

    Yay! I enjoyed the episodes she appeared on this season.

  13. trisha says:

    This makes me so happy! This is the next best thing to revamping King of Queens…now that would make me even happier!

  14. This is awesome news. They were fantastic together from the get go in King of Queens. Can’t wait for season 2!!!

  15. Samala M Henry says:

    I will have to watch the show now. I love the fact that Doug and Carey are getting back together!

  16. mcgwynne says:

    Very exciting but I understand they can’t revert to Doug and Carey so I’ll just pretend to myself that it IS Doug and Carey on the witness protection program and be happy to spend time with them again.

    I’m watching them now on TVLAND.
    Do I have to wait a year!??

  17. George Lewis says:

    Love Leah Remini. Beautiful. Down to earth. Smart. Funny. Would be great to hang out with. Wish she had a new show. Kevin Can Wait: sorry, no.

  18. Jules says:

    This is a win-win. They have great chemistry. The show is funny already. Probably will be even better next year. The one with Adam Sandler is an instant classic. I literally laughed until I cried.

    • Sam says:

      Omg best news ever.
      Yippeeee!!!!

      • Totally agree that together there’s a chemistry. Will definitely watch these two together again. Now, is it too much to hope for a return of Mike and Molly? We definitely need these types of programs, for the health of our hearts and minds, these days.

  19. Clarke says:

    VERY good news.

    • Yo mama says:

      I agree with marijane(love the name) we do need these types of laughable shows now a days! Love these two together! Remini is hilarious and talks mad shit! Love it! Sorry to hear the wife on the show was let go though. Kind of messed up. Guess everybody liked remini better!

  20. Marissa says:

    Oh man, this is AMAZING news. “Kevin Can Wait” season 1 was outstanding. Chale cracks me up EVERY scene he is in. This is WONDERFUL news.

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