Kevin James is heading back to TV and the network that made him a star. CBS has given a 13-episode series order to a multi-camera comedy toplined by The King Of Queens star, which he will co-write with former King Of Queens executive producer and frequent collaborator Rock Reuben as well as sitcom veteran Bruce Helford who will serve as showrunner.
The untitled comedy series, slated for the 2016-17 season, hails from Sony Pictures TV and James’ studio-based Hey Eddie Prods., which has hired Drew Worobow as VP of Television Development. CBS TV Studios will co-produce.
On the show, James will play a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending more quality time with his wife and three kids… only to discover he faces much tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets. James, Reuben and Helford executive produce alongside James’ producing partner Jeff Sussman.
James got his big break on CBS, first with a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond and then with his starring turn on The King Of Queens, which ran from 1998-2007 and paved the way for James’ feature career. The network went aggressively after the new project, with CBS CEO Les Moonves attending the pitch meeting.
“We’re beyond thrilled to be back in business with Kevin James!” said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller. “He’s an incredibly talented star on every screen and every stage, who appeals to a broad audience. We can’t wait to start working with Kevin and the amazing comedy talents of Bruce Helford and Rock Reuben on this exciting new project.”
The project stems from the two-year first look deal James inked in April with King Of Queens producer Sony TV for his Hey Eddie banner which included the development of a sitcom project for him to star in. James got his start as a producer on King Of Queens and formed Hey Eddie Productions at Sony in 2007 with producing partner and manager Jeff Sussman, to whom Worobow will report.
“Kevin is part of our SPT comedy family and we have a rich and successful history together,” said Zack VanAmburg and Jamie Erlicht, presidents of programming and production for Sony PIctures Television. “We are excited for everyone to see this next evolution of Kevin’s family sitcom life and join his fans in celebrating his return to series television.”
King Of Queens, which ran on CBS for nine seasons, remains one of SPT’s most lucrative properties with a long afterlife via off-network and international sales.
Helford is one of the most experienced multi-camera comedy showrunners, with a successful track record in starring vehicles, having created/co-created The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez and Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, all of which went to syndication.
Following his work on The King of Queens, Reuben co-wrote two Kevin James movies, Zookeeper and Here Comes the Boom. He is repped by Verve. James is repped by WME and attorney Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.
Worobow had previously been an executive at Carousel Productions on the feature side where he helped oversee production for Crazy Stupid Love at Warner Bros, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at New Line, and four seasons of Inside Comedy at Showtime.