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Kevin James On Why He Came Back To A Sitcom & The Gift He Got From Will Smith – The Actor’s Side

Deadline logo Deadline 5/3/2017 Pete Hammond
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On this week’s The Actor’s Side I get to talk to Kevin James, now back on CBS and Monday nights with the first-season sitcom Kevin Can WaitIt is a return to the night and network where he had so much success with The King Of Queens for nine seasons from 1998 to 2007, earning an Emmy nomination in 2006.

In our interview, he describes the reasons for returning to this kind of format, and why he resisted putting his name in the title. Actually, for a series called The Actor’s Side, James says he didn’t really start out to be an actor at all. He had visions of playing professional football growing up in New York before a public-speaking class signaled he might have a talent for entertaining people. That led to a stand-up career and eventually to his own sitcom.

He also talks about creating chemistry with his cast members, how he hoped Leah Remini’s series would get canceled so she could join King Of Queens instead, getting a huge movie break from Will Smith with Hitch, working in front of live audiences, and convincing network and Sony brass that it was better to shoot his new show in Long Island, close to home (it has been renewed for Season 2 and James tells he hopes it has a long, long run).

Check out our interview below.

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