EXCLUSIVE: There is a shakeup on the new CBS comedy Kevin Can Wait starring Kevin James whose showrunner Bruce Helford has departed. Sitcom veteran Helford co-created the series, recently given a full-season order by CBS, with James and James’ frequent collaborator Rock Reuben. I hear Helford stepped down over creative differences with James. He will be succeeded by another long-time sitcom writer-producer, Cheers alum Rob Long, who has come on board as executive producer/showrunner of the New York-based series.

Kevin Can Wait, which marked James’ return to TV series and to CBS, got off to a strong start behind The Big Bang Theory on Monday. It has faced a challenging transition to the anchor 8 PM slot in the past two weeks.

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Kevin Can Wait stars James as newly retired policeman Kevin Gable. Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones, James DiGiacomo, Ryan Cartwright, Lenny Venito, Gary Valentine and Leonard Earl Howze co-star. James and Rock Reuben executive produce alongside Jeff Sussman, Andy Fickman, Tony Sheehan and Steve Mosko for Sony Pictures TV and CBS Television Studios.

Helford is one of the most experienced multi-camera comedy showrunners, with a successful track record in starring vehicles, having created/co-created and run The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez and Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, all of which went to syndication.

Long recently co-created and executive produced/ran the TBS multi-camera comedy series Sullivan & Son. He is repped by CAA and Holmes Weinberg, PC.