Kevin Can Wait

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Kevin Can Wait
Kevin Can Wait intertitle.jpg
GenreSitcom
Created by
Directed byAndy Fickman
Starring
Opening theme"Ordinary Guy"
performed by Michael DelGuidice
Composer(s)Raney Shockne
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes48 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Kevin James
  • Rock Reuben
  • Jeff Sussman
  • Andy Fickman
  • Steve Mosko
  • Bruce Helford (episodes 1–13)
  • Rob Long (episodes 14–48)
Producer(s)Nancy Chadrow Haas
Production location(s)New York
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time21–24 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseSeptember 19, 2016 (2016-09-19) – May 7, 2018 (2018-05-07)
External links
Official website

Kevin Can Wait is an American sitcom television series starring Kevin James. The series premiered on September 19, 2016.[2] The series marked James' second starring role in a CBS sitcom, after The King of Queens, which ran from 1998 until 2007. On March 23, 2017, CBS renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 25, 2017, and concluded on May 7, 2018.[3][4]

The series began with James starring as a recently retired Nassau County, New York police officer and father of three, married to Donna (Erinn Hayes). Beginning with season two, the character of Donna has died, and the series' new female lead is Vanessa Cellucci (Leah Remini), Kevin's former rival on the force and now his partner at their new security company, Monkey Fist Security. While the first season focused on Kevin's personal and family life, the second concerns his new profession, his relationship with Vanessa, and his adjustment to life as a single parent.

Kevin Can Wait was cancelled by CBS on May 12, 2018, after two seasons and 48 episodes.[5]

Plot[edit]

Kevin Gable is a newly retired Nassau County police officer living in Massapequa, New York, on Long Island, with his wife Donna, daughters Kendra and Sara, and son Jack. He looks forward to a carefree early retirement hanging out with his friends, who are also retired officers: Goody, Duffy, and Mott. However, Kevin soon realizes his smaller pension paycheck and family challenges will put those plans on hold. His elder daughter Kendra, who was away at college, moves back into town with her unemployed fiancé, Chale, and they begin living in the home's garage; Sara is becoming increasingly difficult, with anger-management issues; and youngest son Jack is a hypochondriac who sees the school therapist for anxiety-related issues.

During the first season, Kevin holds various odd jobs to supplement his retirement income while the family deals with several issues, including Kendra's and Chale's wedding. First season episodes revolve around Kevin and Donna, although Kevin is frequently seen with his group of friends. Most scenes during the first season take place either at the Gable household or the bar Enzo's (where Kendra is employed and where Kevin hangs out with his friends).

Season two picks up over a year after the events of the first-season finale. Donna has been deceased for about a year, leaving the widowed Kevin with the three kids, and now working full-time with his old work rival, Vanessa Cellucci, in their new security company, Monkey Fist Security.[6][7][note 1] With the death of Donna, Kevin's reentry into the work force, and the regular inclusion of Vanessa, season two expands its focus to also feature more of the supporting characters not seen much in the first season. The Monkey Fist Security office also becomes a frequently used location.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Kevin James as Kevin Gable:
    The patriarch of the Gable household. As the series started, Kevin, a recently retired cop married to wife Donna, tends to get involved in some situation, which he usually solves with his down-to-earth principles, and some help from Donna. After Donna's death between the first two seasons, the widowed Kevin becomes a helicopter parent, who goes to work at a security firm with his ex-partner, Vanessa Cellucci. Kevin is a generally good man at heart, although he tends to sometimes get distracted in his goals. He cares deeply about his family and friends, and is willing to do most anything to help them.
  • Erinn Hayes as Donna Gable (season 1):
    Kevin's wife and the matriarch of the Gable household for the first season. Donna is a school nurse, until she quits in the first season finale (also her last physical appearance in the series). Donna passes away before the second season.[8][9][note 2] Her father does, or did, not like Kevin, as mentioned in the pilot episode. The episode "The Fantastic Pho" reveals Kevin and Donna met at a bar, and "The Might've Before Christmas" reveals she and Kevin got together after Vanessa urged them (on their first night as partners).
  • Taylor Spreitler as Kendra Gable-Witt:
    The elder Gable daughter. Kendra is a 21-year-old college student (she gets into Columbia Law School in the first season finale), who also works as a waitress at Enzo's. Out of all the Gable kids, she has the most prominent role in the series. In the pilot, she revealed her engagement to her parents (Donna only knew they were dating, while Kevin was not even told) and moved back in with her fiancé, Chale. Kendra is the most responsible and dependable of the Gable kids. She is also shown to be nagging at times, more specifically towards Chale after their marriage.
    While most of the first season shows her and Donna planning her wedding, she and Chale get married in the season two premiere, after he faces deportation. Following the death of Donna, Kendra becomes the surrogate matriarch of the family.
  • Ryan Cartwright as Chale Witt:
    Kendra's English fiancé, later husband. He moves into the Gables' garage following the revelation of his engagement with Kendra. Chale is shown to be shy and soft-spoken, but very intelligent. Kevin initially shows hostility towards him, but their relationship somewhat improves over the course of the series.
    When the show first begins, Chale claims to be designing an app that will be successful; thus, Chale is unemployed for the majority of season one, working on the app. In the season two premiere, he and Kendra marry as he faces deportation. Chale begins working at Enzo's alongside Kendra in "Plus One is the Loneliest Number", and gets promoted to manager (and temporarily stops working on his app) in "The Kevin Crown Affair.
  • Mary-Charles Jones as Sara Marie Gable:
    The younger Gable daughter. Sara has anger management issues that are frequently mentioned throughout the series (e.g. starting a food fight, calling a family friend's baby "stupid", etc.). Sara is somewhat of a tomboy—she excels at and loves sports, watches football, and frequently fights. Sara is also known to have a rebellious streak: she has been suspended, stolen her father's money, and even created a secret second Facebook account and snuck off with her boyfriend. Despite her hostility (especially towards her siblings), she does overall love her family.
    The first season saw Sara mostly in short, cameo roles; she becomes more prominent in the second season.
  • James DiGiacomo as Jack Gable:
    The son of the Gables. Jack is 11-years-old, and is portrayed as the weakest Gable child (especially when compared to Sara), and somewhat dim. He has very few friends, and is stated to be a hypochondriac. He frequently tries to make friends, but with little success.
    The first season saw Jack mostly in short, cameo roles; he becomes more prominent in the second season.
  • Gary Valentine as Kyle Gable:
    Kevin's older brother. He is a firefighter for the New York City Fire Department. Kyle is a bachelor, and has a crush on Vanessa (much to her dismay). Like Jack, he is also shown to have below-average intelligence, and is mainly relegated to being a cook at the Fire Department.
    As a part of Kevin's group, he is frequently seen with Kevin's friends, and is also seen at the Gable household.
  • Leonard Earl Howze as Tyrone "Goody" Goodman:
    Kevin's friend from the police force, who he is frequently seen with. He is married to Didi, who was good friends with Donna. In the second season, Goody begins working for Monkey Fist security.
  • Lenny Venito as Duffy (season 1):
    Kevin's friend, also newly retired from the force. He has been divorced three times. Duffy was written out in the second season, without any explanation for the character's absence.
  • Christopher Brian Roach (also credited as Chris Roach) as Mott: one of Kevin's retired officer friends, who is usually regarded as the dimmest of the group. He is married to Cindy, and has seven young, rambunctious kids. In the second season, Mott begins working for Monkey Fist security.
  • Leah Remini as Vanessa Cellucci (season 2; guest season 1):
    Kevin's former partner on the force, and later, his business partner. She was introduced in the two-part first-season finale[10] as a police detective who had worked with Kevin on a major case, even though they were rivals and frequently bickered. Following the retooling, Vanessa becomes Kevin's partner in the second episode, with her own struggling company, Golden Phoenix Security (later Monkey Fist Security).[11] Vanessa is mentioned to have several exes, many of which she has dumped for ridiculous and unbelievable reasons (e.g. helping sick kids in Africa for three years, moving to Australia), and which sometimes get her distracted (e.g., she didn't complete the task of getting liability insurance because she dumped the State Farm agent she was dating).

Recurring[edit]

  • Bas Rutten as Rootger Vandekamp, the Gables' annoying Dutch neighbor who becomes Kevin's friend. He lives with his mother and his long-term girlfriend. During the first season, he works in the warehouse at a big box store. In the second season, Kevin and Vanessa hire him at their security company, though they are frequently unable to pay him.
  • Jim Breuer as Father Philip, the priest at the Gables' Catholic church.
  • Joe Starr as Enzo, the owner of Enzo's, and Kendra's (and later Chale's) boss.
  • Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Didi, Goody's wife and a friend of Donna's. She frequently expressed worry about Goody facing danger on the police force. (Season 1)
  • Chris Weidman as Nick Dawson, a rookie cop who is the new partner of Kevin's former partner. (Season 1[note 3])
  • Jackie Sandler as Cindy, Mott's wife.

Notable guest stars[edit]

  • Ray Romano as Vic Margolis, an annoying hot tub salesman, whose son befriends Jack ("Beat the Parents")
  • Noah Syndergaard as Halloween Viking ("Hallow-We-Ain't-Home")
  • Adam Sandler as Jimmy, Kevin's former partner ("Who's Better Than Us?", "A Band Done")
  • Billy Joel as himself ("Kevin's Bringing Supper Back")
  • Harry Connick Jr. as himself ("Kenny Can Wait")
  • Chazz Palminteri as Vincent Cellucci, Vanessa's critical father ("Plus One is the Loneliest Number")
  • Loni Love as Yvette, a sassy pawnshop owner ("The Owl")
  • Florencia Lozano as Wendy, Kevin's neighbor who frequently brings him food after Donna passes away, in hopes of winning his affections ("Cooking Up a Storm", "The Whole Enchilada")
  • Ricardo Chavira as Frank, Kevin and Vanessa's former co-worker, who now owns a rival security company ("Monkey Fist Insecurity", "Delivery Guy"[12])
  • Chris Knowings as Omar, a worker at the Corn Dog House Kevin and Vanessa go to. (Delivery Guy)
  • Ali Landry as Lisa, a vivacious single woman Kevin meets at the airport on the way to Florida ("Flight or Fight")
  • Ralph Macchio as Alviti, a real estate investor who wants to buy Enzo's and turn the property into a parking lot ("The Smoking Bun", "Phat Monkey")
  • Chris Rock as Dennis, a member of Kevin's old band Smokefish ("A Band Done")
  • Mike DelGuidice as Ronnie, a member of Kevin's old band Smokefish ("A Band Done")
  • Sal Governale as Lance Grafton, a music manager ("A Band Done")

In addition, James' family has appeared in the series (in addition to regular cast member Gary Valentine). James' real-life wife, Steffiana De La Cruz, and two of James' daughters, Shea James and Sienna James, have appeared in the series; De La Cruz was in "The Back Out" as a half of a couple Kevin and Donna try to befriend, while Shea and Sienna appeared in various roles throughout both seasons. Remini's husband, Angelo Pagán, also appeared in "Business Unusual". Also, both theme song performer Mike DelGuidice, and writer Mike Soccio, have appeared in the series in minor roles.

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
124September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19)May 8, 2017 (2017-05-08)
224September 25, 2017 (2017-09-25)May 7, 2018 (2018-05-07)

Season 1 (2016–17)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Andy FickmanKevin James & Bruce Helford & Rock ReubenSeptember 19, 2016 (2016-09-19)KCW10011.08[13]
Kevin Gable, a newly retired police officer living with his wife Donna and their three children, is looking forward to raucous adventures with his fellow retired cop friends. But things take a turn when his college-age daughter Kendra announces she's quitting school to work and support her nerdy boyfriend Chale, who claims to be developing an app that will make them rich.
22"Sleep Disorder"Andy FickmanMichael LoftusSeptember 26, 2016 (2016-09-26)KCW10210.62[14]
Now that he's home all the time, Kevin starts noticing Donna has moved a lot of things around to her own advantage and that most of his favorite stuff is in the attic. He confronts her, and she lets him move one thing back while agreeing they will always discuss changes together moving forward. Kevin thinks he's won, but his friends convince him Donna just threw him a bone and that nothing will change. Elsewhere, Kendra tries to get Chale to act tougher, but her schemes backfire.
33"Chore Weasel"Andy FickmanMike SoccioOctober 3, 2016 (2016-10-03)KCW1049.60[15]
Kevin agrees to stay home in the afternoon to wait for the delivery of Donna's armoire, but he instead hires a rep from Chore Weasel to do it for him so he can play football with the guys. Although he must now hide the Chore Weasel expenses and his football injury from Donna, Kevin can't resist calling Chore Weasel for other projects. Unfortunately for Kevin, Chale catches him in the act and struggles to keep his secret.
44"Kevin and Donna's Book Club"Andy FickmanHeather FlandersOctober 10, 2016 (2016-10-10)KCW1018.70[16]
When the guys can't agree on a bonding activity, Kevin joins Donna's all-female book club. He is initially a hit with the ladies, but quickly wears out his welcome.
55"Kevin's Good Story"Andy FickmanPeter HoareOctober 17, 2016 (2016-10-17)KCW1058.54[17]
While Kevin and Donna are dining on their wedding anniversary with Goody and his wife Didi, Donna relates a story about one of Kevin's heroic deeds as a cop from six years ago. Goody realizes Kevin has stolen his hero story and passed it off as his own, but neither man can come clean; Kevin used the story as an excuse for forgetting his anniversary six years ago, while Goody urged Kevin to never mention the incident for fear that Didi would make him quit the police force.
66"Beat the Parents"Andy FickmanJohn CochranOctober 24, 2016 (2016-10-24)KCW1067.91[18]
Kevin and Donna help Jack meet a new friend, Graydon, and are thrilled when the boys hit it off... that is, until they meet Graydon's irritating parents, Vic (Ray Romano) and Brandi (Lindsey Broad). Kevin and Donna then have to decide if they will sabotage the boys' friendship.
77"Hallow-We-Ain't-Home"Andy FickmanBruce HelfordOctober 31, 2016 (2016-10-31)KCW1086.42[19]
When Donna says she is wiped out after a hard day and doesn't feel like giving out Halloween candy, Kevin convinces her they should turn off the lights and pretend they aren't home. Their plan backfires, however, when they are lured outside by an angry neighbor couple and their kids. Meanwhile, Kendra and Chale take Sara and Jack to a trunk-o-ween event, where people give out candy from their car trunks.
88"Who's Better than Us?"Andy FickmanPeter Hoare & John CochranNovember 7, 2016 (2016-11-07)KCW1077.41[20]
Kevin runs into his old partner Jimmy (Adam Sandler), and becomes annoyed when Jimmy's new partner Nick (Chris Weidman) says Jimmy hasn't told him any stories about riding with Kevin. Kevin's spirits are lifted some when Jimmy invites him to a ceremony at the church, where he plans to honor someone "very special" in his life. The ceremony turns out to be for the seemingly perfect Nick, with Jimmy telling Kevin he invited him as payback for never keeping in touch with him since he retired.
99"The Power of Positive Drinking"Andy FickmanHeather Flanders & John CochranNovember 14, 2016 (2016-11-14)KCW1037.06[21]
When Kevin takes a job as a bartender at Enzo's, he starts dispensing unsolicited advice to his customers and fancies himself a "life coach", until it becomes apparent that his advice wasn't very helpful.
1010"The Fantastic Pho"Andy FickmanMichael Loftus & Mike SoccioNovember 21, 2016 (2016-11-21)KCW1106.97[22]
Kevin quits another job because he can't stand taking orders from someone way younger than him. While telling Donna over a meal at a Vietnamese restaurant, Kevin has some pho and finds it delicious. He then decides he will be his own boss and sell pho from a food truck, but first he needs to convince some investors (Goody, Duffy, Mott and Kyle) to go along with the idea.
1111"Kevin's Bringing Supper Back"Andy FickmanJoanna QuraishiDecember 5, 2016 (2016-12-05)KCW1097.14[23]
Kevin has become irritated by the lack of his family's closeness: Kendra and Sara are constantly at each other's throats, Jack is ignoring his family, and Donna has been working overtime and attempting to ignore everyone. Kevin imitates family bonding time, but the attempt gets off on a rocky start: board game night is ruined by Sara and Kendra fighting; and a soccer game where everyone wears a body bubble ends up with Jack going to the hospital. A dinner is almost ruined by Kendra and Sara arguing, but Kevin lays down his foot and makes the two reconcile. But, when the guys get him surprise concert tickets to see Billy Joel, he then has to decide if he will ditch his family.
1212"I'll Be Home for Christmas...Maybe"Andy FickmanPete CorrealeDecember 12, 2016 (2016-12-12)KCW1117.31[24]
When Mott's wife gets snowed in at a casino and Mott has to work, Kevin is put in charge of the couple's seven children for a few days and takes on an "unappreciated wife" role. Meanwhile, a lonely Kyle takes care of some things on Kevin's Christmas to-do list and impresses Donna with his diligence.
1313"Ring Worm"Andy FickmanRock ReubenJanuary 2, 2017 (2017-01-02)KCW1127.36[25]
Kendra wonders why Chale is going out at night without telling her, and Chale confesses to Kevin that he got a job so he can buy Kendra an engagement ring. This reminds Kevin that he promised Donna many years ago to upgrade her ring when they could afford it. To keep it a surprise, Kevin then has to come up with a cover story to explain the $6,000 he moved from his and Donna's retirement account into their checking account.
1414"Kevin vs. The Dutch Elm"Andy FickmanMichael LoftusJanuary 16, 2017 (2017-01-16)KCW1138.66[26]
Donna pushes Kevin to make good on his promise to move the backyard pool, which has a dying tree casting shade over it during the summer. Kevin convinces Donna it would be easier to cut down the tree, but there are complications: the tree is on their neighbors' property and Kendra insists they first remove a family of squirrels living in the tree.
1515"Choke Doubt"Andy FickmanMike SoccioJanuary 23, 2017 (2017-01-23)KCW1148.62[27]
Kevin saves Bill (Adam Ferrara), a man at the bar, from choking. A thankful Bill wants to make a big deal out of it, but Kevin refuses, saying that he's an ex-cop and is glad to help. Just then, Kyle appears on TV, being lauded as a hero after saving a cat from a fire, making Kevin rethink his modesty. Meanwhile, Donna's friend is starting a wedding planning business and offers to plan Kendra's and Chale's wedding for free to get her name out there. During the meeting, however, Donna and Chale clash over opposing ideas.
1616"The Back Out"Andy FickmanKevin James & Rock ReubenFebruary 6, 2017 (2017-02-06)KCW1157.91[28]
Kevin is reluctant when Donna wants to become friends with Jackie (Ilana Becker) and Peter (Craig Bierko), a couple from church. He changes his tune when he learns that Peter is a chiropractor who works on some New York Mets players, and he offers Kevin and Donna a chance to stay at his condo in Florida during spring training. The trip is put in jeopardy, however, when Peter gives Kevin a free back adjustment and does a horrible job. Elsewhere, Kyle makes a pitch to be Chale's best man, even though he hardly knows him.
1717"Unholy War"Andy FickmanTony SheehanFebruary 13, 2017 (2017-02-13)KCW1167.85[29]
After reluctantly settling on a date for Kendra's wedding, Kevin learns that his childhood nemesis, Terry Labasco (Kim Coates), is trying to reserve the church on the same day. As the two battle for Father Philip's (Jim Breuer) approval by becoming more involved in the church, Kevin's drive to secure the church for Kendra becomes an insatiable desire to get revenge on his old rival.
1818"Neighborhood Watch"Andy FickmanAlex MetzFebruary 20, 2017 (2017-02-20)KCW1177.29[30]
When the Gables' mailbox is smashed, Kevin organizes a neighborhood watch with Goody, Duffy and his neighbor Rootger (Bas Rutten). It's later revealed that Kevin concocted the crime to avoid hanging out with Stewart (Alexander Chaplin), the annoying husband of Donna's cousin Irene (Claire Coffee).
1919"Showroom Showdown"Andy FickmanDan StaleyMarch 13, 2017 (2017-03-13)KCW1186.79[31]
When Kevin and Chale get jobs working with Rootger at an electronics store warehouse to help pay for the wedding, Chale's quick promotion to the sales floor kick-starts Kevin's competitive side. Meanwhile, Donna and Kendra desperately try to trim the wedding's guest list.
2020"Double Date"Andy FickmanMichael Loftus & Mike SoccioMarch 20, 2017 (2017-03-20)KCW1195.93[32]
When Goody and Didi win an all-expenses paid weekend for four at a spa resort in a church raffle, the Gables assume they will be the other couple to go along with them, but Goody says they are taking the Motts instead. Irritated, Kevin and Donna look for other couple friends. After a mishap with finding a couple on a website, they invite Rootger and his girlfriend to the resort just so they can rub it in their other friends' faces.
2121"Kenny Can Wait"Andy FickmanMike Soccio & Tony SheehanApril 10, 2017 (2017-04-10)KCW1206.04[33]
In his new job as an Uber driver, Kevin picks up Harry Connick Jr. and impresses him so much that Harry asks him to be his regular driver. The only problem is: almost everything Kevin told Harry to impress him is a lie.
2222"Quiet Diet"Andy FickmanPete Correale & Peter HoareApril 17, 2017 (2017-04-17)KCW1215.90[34]
Kevin needs to get his cholesterol down so the premium on his life insurance doesn't go up and he can go to Mets fantasy camp. In the process of helping Kevin with a crash cleanse, Chale reveals an embarrassing secret about himself and a pair of oversized jeans.
2323"Sting of Queens: Part One"Andy FickmanStory by : Peter Hoare & Pete Correale
Teleplay by : Mike Soccio & Michael Loftus
May 1, 2017 (2017-05-01)KCW1226.26[35]
Kevin is asked to come out of retirement and pretend to be the husband of Detective Vanessa Cellucci (Leah Remini, in her first appearance) in an important case, but he faces a dilemma when the case interferes with his trip to Mets fantasy camp. Meanwhile, Chale gets a high-paying job at a tech start-up company.
2424"Sting of Queens: Part Two"Andy FickmanStory by : Annie Levine & Jonathan Emerson
Teleplay by : Rock Reuben & Tony Sheehan
May 8, 2017 (2017-05-08)KCW1235.68[36]
Kevin and Vanessa go to a hotel to try and corner a phony art dealer, and stumble onto a much bigger crime. They eventually crack the case, but not without the aid of an undercover FBI agent. Elsewhere, Donna gets passed over for a promotion at the school, then tells off her boss and quits, while Chale discovers the tech start-up he's just joined is about to go belly-up.

Season 2 (2017–18)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
251"Civil Ceremony"Andy FickmanMichael Loftus & Pete Correale & Peter HoareSeptember 25, 2017 (2017-09-25)KCW20110.26[37]
When Chale notices that his visa has expired, he faces deportation and Kendra faces moving to England with him. Although Vanessa sets up a meeting at INS with one of her exes, Kevin blows the meeting, forcing a last-minute wedding for Kendra and Chale. However, issues arise when Kevin tracks down Father Philip to a Civil War battle reenactment and Chale is hospitalized with appendicitis. In the end, Kendra and Chale are finally married at the hospital chapel and have their reception at the reenactment.
262"Business Unusual"Andy FickmanAnnie Levine & Jon Emerson & Mike SoccioOctober 2, 2017 (2017-10-02)KCW2026.65[38]
Kendra asks Vanessa to get Kevin a job, without his knowledge, to stop his helicopter parenting. Vanessa initially presents Kevin a case for her security agency — serving divorce papers to the elusive Anthony Beyer (Angelo Pagán, Leah Remini's real-life husband) — as a "one-day thing", but Kevin soon decides its time to go back to work. He applies at the company, only to find that Vanessa is the owner. Kevin refuses to have a "pity" job, and decides to go for a guy's night out, something else he has not done since Donna's death. With some new information (Kevin figured out the logo on Anthony's shirt, while Vanessa just called his wife), Kevin and Vanessa successfully finish the job — and ride a scary ride. Meanwhile, Kyle obsesses over Kevin's suspicious injury story.
273"Kevin Goes Nuts"Andy FickmanRock Reuben & Heather MacGillivray & Linda MathiousOctober 9, 2017 (2017-10-09)KCW2036.01[39]
Vanessa tells a clueless Kevin that Sara's behavior indicates she has a boyfriend. This is confirmed when Vanessa uncovers Sara's secret second Facebook account. Kevin sneaks off from work to investigate, forcing Vanessa to go after him. Meanwhile, kids at school find out Jack has been lying about having a peanut allergy to sit with them at lunch, so he desperately searches for a new "illness" he can claim.
284"Plus One is the Loneliest Number"Andy FickmanTom Anderson & Avin DasOctober 16, 2017 (2017-10-16)KCW2045.96[40]
When Kevin catches Vanessa's new boyfriend Trent kissing another woman, she's forced to go to her baby sister's wedding alone. But Kevin surprises Vanessa by crashing the wedding and pretending to be Trent, helping her save face with her father Vincent (Chazz Palminteri). Meanwhile, Kendra runs into her high school frenemy Noreen (Kristolyn Lloyd) at Enzo's, and hears about the exotic places the also-married Noreen went on her honeymoon. With help from Kyle and Photoshop, Kendra and a reluctant Chale create a fake honeymoon for Instagram.
295"Grief Thief"Andy FickmanMike Soccio & Heather MacGillvray & Linda MathiousOctober 23, 2017 (2017-10-23)KCW2056.11[41]
Kyle goes to a Parents Without Spouses grief counseling session to see if it will help Kevin, but after meeting a widow who is interested in him, he lies and assumes Kevin's life. Kevin is upset when he hears about it, but he soon uses the grief group as an excuse to ditch a Sunday job with Vanessa and attend a Jets football game with Goody. Meanwhile, Chale is having trouble getting any sleep due to Kendra's aggressive cuddling.
306"The Owl"Andy FickmanPhoef Sutton & Mark Jordan LeganOctober 30, 2017 (2017-10-30)KCW2066.35[42]
Kevin and Chale go to great lengths to retrieve an owl cookie jar that Kevin had sold to Goody, not knowing it has sentimental value to Kendra. The two make a trip to Utica after learning that Goody gave the jar to his cousin, who subsequently pawned it there, only to find the sassy pawnshop owner, Yvette (Loni Love), driving a hard bargain after their earlier encounter at a bar. Meanwhile, Vanessa is tired of Kyle flirting with her, so she tries to help his love life by creating a fake dating profile using a photo of her hairdresser while letting him down easy by saying that she moved to Australia. However, the plan backfires when Kyle recognizes the woman at Enzo's.
317"The Kevin Crown Affair"Andy FickmanMichael Loftus & Pete Correale & Peter HoareNovember 6, 2017 (2017-11-06)KCW2076.31[43]
Kevin and Vanessa visit a potential new client, a toy store chain notable for its popular commercial with a "Prince of Toys". Kevin takes a pill that Rootger suggests will help him focus. However, Kevin screws up the interview, and both he and Vanessa secretly try to go back to change the client's mind. Meanwhile, with his unexpected success in implementing an electronic ordering system at Enzo's and his continued failure in launching his app that feeds goldfish, Chale wants to quit working on his app to work at Enzo's full-time as his manager. Kendra forces Kyle to talk to Chale and convince him otherwise, but the conversation backfires as Chale inspires Kyle to get his old band back together.
328"Slip 'n' Fall"Andy FickmanDan Staley & Tom AndersonNovember 13, 2017 (2017-11-13)KCW2106.15[44]
After Kevin spills fondue at the office, Rootger slips in it and falls, requiring the latter to take a trip to the hospital and wear a neckbrace. Kevin and Vanessa both worry that Rutger will sue them, when Vanessa reveals that she hasn't yet purchased liability company insurance (due to her dumping a State Farm agent). To make matters worse, they find out Rootger has been seeing a lawyer for an unknown, yet suspicious reason. Meanwhile, Kendra gives some legal advice to Mott and he thanks her with a $20 tip. This inspires Chale and Kyle to sell Kendra's services, even though she is technically not yet a lawyer.
339"Cooking Up a Storm"Andy FickmanDan Staley & Annie Levine & Jonathan EmersonNovember 20, 2017 (2017-11-20)KCW2096.09[45]
Kevin vows to make a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for the family, but when he finds it impossible, he relies on neighbor Wendy (Florencia Lozano) who is always bringing him food. Vanessa correctly deduces that Wendy has been bringing meals to Kevin because she's romantically interested in him and wants Kevin to end the relationship. Meanwhile, Jack has been stocking supplies because he's read that Yellowstone sits on an active volcano that could blow anytime, causing chaos throughout the country, and Sara wants to cook the cornbread Donna had taught her to make before her death.
3410"Kevin Moves Metal"Andy FickmanPeter Hoare & Pete CorrealeNovember 27, 2017 (2017-11-27)KCW2086.35[46]
A Monkey Fist client suspects that her ex-husband, a car dealer, is falsifying his income to pay less alimony, so Kevin goes undercover as a janitor to try and get a hold of the dealer's books. After inadvertently convincing a couple to buy a vehicle, Kevin is immediately promoted to salesman. He is soon distracted by his incentive to win the dealer's Vespa by selling the most cars, which prompts Vanessa to go undercover herself to make sure he doesn't screw up the job. Meanwhile, Chale helps train Jack to be a better actor as the latter prepares to try out for a school play, only to overdo it.
3511"Trainer Wreck"Andy FickmanAnnie Levine & Jonathan EmersonDecember 11, 2017 (2017-12-11)KCW2116.31[47]
A new gym has opened up downstairs, and Kevin and Vanessa both vie for the attention of handsome new trainer Alejandro (Eduardo Verástegui) for very different reasons, putting the partners at odds. Meanwhile, Kyle provides bad advice to Chale when a health inspector visits the restaurant with Enzo out of town.
3612"The Might've Before Christmas"Andy FickmanRock Reuben & Mike SoccioDecember 18, 2017 (2017-12-18)KCW2126.40[48]
At the Gable family Christmas Eve gathering, Vanessa arrives and tells the story of her and Kevin's first day as partners on the force. As the story evolves, the kids realize it was also the day Kevin asked out Donna for the first time. Meanwhile, Kendra is mad that Kevin got a cheap present for Chale, while Kyle is upset that Kevin did not get a present for him (even though it was Kyle's idea to not exchange gifts).
3713"Monkey Fist Insecurity"Andy FickmanPete Correale & Avin DasJanuary 15, 2018 (2018-01-15)KCW2157.21[49]
Kevin and Vanessa lose a major contract to Nassau Security, another group of ex-cops who wear snappy uniforms and have more advanced gear. After Nassau continues to swoop in and steal clients that Monkey Fist had lined up, Rootger helps Kevin discover the reason why their rivals always seem to be one step ahead.
3814"Kevin Can Date"Andy FickmanLinda Mathious & Heather MacGillbrayJanuary 22, 2018 (2018-01-22)KCW2167.37[50]
While Vanessa meets with her client Rebecca Romero (Zulay Henao), who wants Monkey Fist to serve her ex-boyfriend with a restraining order, the client tells her she thinks Kevin is funny and confident. Vanessa sets up Kevin with his first date since Donna passed, but while Kevin is locked in an escape room with Rebecca, he gets news that several of Rebecca's exes have taken out restraining orders on her.
3915"Fight or Flight"Andy FickmanAnnie Levine & Jonathan EmersonJanuary 29, 2018 (2018-01-29)KCW2137.28[51]
Vanessa, Kevin and Rutger are going on a business trip to Florida, with Kevin taking the family along for a Disney World vacation while there. To get an upgrade to two open first class seats, Vanessa lies and says she and Kevin are married. This backfires for Kevin when he meets a woman named Lisa (Ali Landry) and the two hit it off. Meanwhile, Rootger tries to get over his fear of flying, and Malcolm (Jason Kravits), a passenger sitting with Chale and Kendra, causes the two to get into an argument.
4016"40 Under 40"Andy FickmanMike Soccio & Heather MacGillvray & Linda MathiousFebruary 5, 2018 (2018-02-05)KCW2146.95[52]
Vanessa gets interviewed for an article in Long Island Insider magazine highlighting 40 business owners under 40. Upset that she left him out of the interview, Kevin reminds Vanessa that she is over 45. Vanessa counters that she only lied to get Monkey Fist some free publicity. Kevin then scares Vanessa about the bright lights on the award ceremony stage outing her true age, causing her to go overboard on facial surgery. Elsewhere, Chale and Kendra set up Kyle on a date with Chale's crazy Aunt Tracy (Geraldine Hughes), who is in town. Kyle insists he can handle any woman, but he turns out to be very wrong
4117"Wingmen"Andy FickmanRock ReubenFebruary 26, 2018 (2018-02-26)KCW2176.09[53]
At Kyle's urging, Kevin and Vanessa use a dating app called "Be My Wingman", in which a friend chooses a match for another friend. Vanessa finds a seemingly perfect match for Kevin, while Kevin finds Vanessa a perfect match... for himself.
4218"The Whole Enchilada"Andy FickmanDan Staley & Tom AndersonMarch 5, 2018 (2018-03-05)KCW2186.31[54]
Kevin's neighbor Wendy, who has been bringing him delicious meals ever since Donna passed away, demands more from their relationship than just her cooking and Kevin eating. Kevin tries to indulge her and, after realizing he still has no romantic feelings for her, has to decide if he should officially break things off or continue leading Wendy on to enjoy her food.
4319"Delivery Guy"Andy FickmanAlex MetzMarch 19, 2018 (2018-03-19)KCW2195.67[55]
With Monkey Fist Security desperate for publicity after a new Nassau Security ad runs on TV, Kevin is approached by Anthony (Lorenzo James Henrie), a young man who says Kevin delivered him 20 years ago when his mother was in labor. Chale convinces Kevin and Anthony to go on a local morning show that is running an episode on hero cops. The segment doesn't go well, and Kevin is later upstaged by Frank from Nassau, who has just donated a kidney to a young woman.
4420"Forty Seven Candles"Andy FickmanMike SoccioMarch 26, 2018 (2018-03-26)KCW2245.68[56]
When Vanessa says she doesn't want Kevin and the crew to do anything special for her birthday, Kevin is sure she is lying and plans a surprise party. Things get complicated when Vanessa has a change of heart and decides to throw a party for herself. Kevin manages to thwart that plan, but soon has another problem: he's counting on Kyle to get Vanessa to the surprise party location.
4521"The Smoking Bun"Andy FickmanMike Soccio & Heather MacGillvray & Linda MathiousApril 9, 2018 (2018-04-09)KCW2205.75[57]
After Enzo tells the gang he is selling the restaurant and moving to Florida, Kevin and Vanessa go see the new buyer of the property Alviti (Ralph Macchio) to try and convince him to keep the business as is. When Alviti instead wants to tear down the building, Kevin pitches the city council to get the building declared an historic landmark, but that doesn't work because Alviti has bribed the council. Kevin and Vanessa then promise Alviti they will fully investigate him, but instead succumb when he bribes them with a lucrative security contract.
4622"Phat Monkey"Andy FickmanRock Reuben & Annie Levine & Jonathan EmersonApril 16, 2018 (2018-04-16)KCW2235.26[58]
With Monkey Fist landing the huge account for Alviti's parking lots, Kevin hires a personal assistant named Tyler (Jay Klaitz) without telling Vanessa. This upsets Rootger, so Kevin decides to have him and Tyler compete for the job. Distracted, Kevin neglects an assignment at one of Alviti's lots, forcing Vanessa to beg for Alviti's mercy. Elsewhere, Chale has developed a business plan to buy Enzo's and turn it into a more modern pizzeria, only to find that he and Kendra cannot come up with the down payment.
4723"Brew Ha Ha"Andy FickmanDan Staley & Tom AndersonApril 30, 2018 (2018-04-30)KCW2214.98[59]
Kendra and Chale get a surprise when Kevin announces he's taken out a second mortgage and is giving them $80,000 for a down payment on buying Enzo's. But things unravel when Kevin insists they run the restaurant his way, and won't listen to any of Kendra's and Chale's ideas. Kendra tells her dad to forget the whole thing and announces that she and Chale are moving out of the garage. Kevin then gets mad at Vanessa when he learns the kids are staying with her. Just before Enzo's deadline, father and daughter reconcile, allowing Kendra and Chale to buy the property.
4824"A Band Done"Andy FickmanMichael LoftusMay 7, 2018 (2018-05-07)KCW2225.45[60]
Kevin's former partner Jimmy convinces him they should get their old band Smokefish back together, along with the two other original members (played by Chris Rock and Mike DelGuidice). Jimmy gets them a meeting with a booking agent, who says he must see them play first. Kevin then uses his loan to guilt trip Kendra and Chale into letting Smokefish play at Enzo's. Meanwhile, Vanessa comes to realize that a chance encounter with Smokefish many years ago may have changed the course of her life.

Production[edit]

In October 2015, it was announced Kevin James would star in a new family-comedy television series for CBS, while Rock Reuben will executive produce the series, and Bruce Helford would serve as the show runner.[61]

On October 17, 2016, CBS ordered a full season of 22 episodes.[62] In November 2016, Bruce Helford exited the series as showrunner after the first thirteen episodes, due to creative differences.[63] Cheers alum Rob Long replaced Helford as showrunner.[64] On January 6, 2017, two additional episodes were added, bringing the season to a total of 24 episodes.[65]

The series was filmed entirely on Long Island at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, New York.[66] The pilot episode was filmed on April 1, 2016.[67] Production on subsequent episodes began taping on August 5, 2016.[68]

Season two's original order was for 22 episodes and was later increased to 24 episodes.[69][70]

Casting[edit]

In January 2016, Taylor Spreitler had been cast in the series as Kendra, Kevin's daughter.[71] In February 2016, Ryan Cartwright, Mary-Charles Jones, and James DiGiacomo had been cast in the series, as Kendra's boyfriend, and James' characters other children, respectively.[72][73] That same month, Leonard Earl Howze and Erinn Hayes joined the cast portraying James' character's friend and former police partner and James' wife, respectively.[74][75] In March 2016, Lenny Venito and Gary Valentine joined the cast.[76]

In September 2016, it was announced Ray Romano and Gina Brillon would guest star.[77][78] In November 2016, it was announced Adam Sandler would also guest star.[79] In March 2017, it was announced James' former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini would guest star in the first season's final two episodes.[80][81]

In June 2017, Remini was upped to a series regular starting with Season 2; shortly after, it was announced that Erinn Hayes would not be returning for the show's second season.[82][83][84] Sources cited in a Variety article confirmed that Remini would be returning as Detective Vanessa Cellucci, the character she portrayed in the first-season finale, and that Hayes' dismissal was for creative reasons and "not a reflection" of the actress' performance.[83] In August 2017, it was reported Hayes' character would be killed off before season two began and the season will take place 7–10 months after season one ended, in order to make room for Remini.[85]

Cancellation[edit]

On May 12, 2018, it was announced that CBS officially cancelled Kevin Can Wait. A combination of factors, including declining ratings, CBS's desire to have an ownership stake, and the network needing to clear space for three new sitcoms in the fall 2018 schedule, led to the show's demise.[86]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

During the first season, Kevin Can Wait received generally negative reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 30%, based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kevin James proves a likable, funny lead, but Kevin Can Wait relies too heavily on predictable, unfunny jokes and a series of lackluster subplots to stand out from the crowd."[87] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the series has a score 39 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[88]

With the firing of Hayes and addition of Remini in season two, the series' retooling also received negative reviews, this time heavily assessing the series as inferior to James and Remini's former show The King of Queens.[89]

Controversy[edit]

The replacement of Erinn Hayes with Leah Remini, and how the show handled Donna Gable's death, has been a source of controversy for the series.[90] Criticism has been levied especially on the episodes "Civil Ceremony" and "Grief Thief". In the former, which served as the season premiere, criticism was placed on the brief mention of Donna's death, via a piece of mail, and a subsequent joke many found distasteful.[91] The later episode, the season's fifth episode, was panned for its plot that the characters use a single parents support group for getting out of work and their romantic life.[92] The series' reduced mention of Donna following her death, as well as no specific cause to her death, has also been target of criticism.[93]

Viewers and critics of the show remain divided over the retool. Some stated the decision was a well-made one, and that the chemistry James has with Remini has made the quality of the series better. Others say that Hayes' firing, and the addition of Remini with how the show handled her character's death, with poor script quality, has made the show worse. Despite the division, both Hayes and Remini spoke highly of each other. Remini stated that, before Hayes' firing, she was looking forward to working with her again; Hayes (who has mostly remained silent over the firing so far) asked fans to not place blame on Remini.[94][95][96]

It has been rumored and hinted at that the addition of co-star Leah Remini was an attempt to save the show from cancellation. Many suggested this theory is due not only to their chemistry and ability to play off one another well, but also to capitalize on their successful run on The King of Queens a decade earlier. However, James insisted the choice was purely creative, as the writers felt they were running out of ideas, and he was unsure if it would continue beyond a second season. James also stated that the original plot line of the series was to have him as a single father, but the original producers gave him a wife instead.[97][95]

Despite the controversy surrounding the revamp, the series' ratings remained steady. As of December 1, 2017, the series was averaging 8.2 million viewers (with delayed viewing) in the season, competing against more established Top 20 series Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. The series also performs well in the much-coveted 18-49 demographic, ranking as the fifth-highest rated program on CBS in that category.[98][99]

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49 rating
(average)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Monday 8:30 PM (1–5)
Monday 8:00 PM (6–24)
24 September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19) 11.08[13] May 8, 2017 (2017-05-08) 5.68[36] 2016–17 32 9.24 2.1[100]
2 Monday 9:00 PM (1–5)
Monday 8:00 PM (6–24)
24 September 25, 2017 (2017-09-25) 10.26[37] May 7, 2018 (2018-05-07) 5.45[60] 2017–18 51 7.66 1.6[101]

Season 1 (2016–17)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
Total
(18–49)
1 "Pilot" September 19, 2016 2.6/9 11.08[13] 0.9 3.5[102]
2 "Sleep Disorder" September 26, 2016 2.7/8 10.62[14] 0.9 3.6[103]
3 "Chore Weasel" October 3, 2016 2.2/8 9.60[15] 0.8 3.0[104]
4 "Kevin and Donna's Book Club" October 10, 2016 2.1/7 8.70[16] 0.8 2.9[105]
5 "Kevin's Good Story" October 17, 2016 2.1/7 8.54[17] 0.7 2.8[106]
6 "Beat the Parents" October 24, 2016 1.7/6 7.91[18] N/A N/A
7 "Hallow-We-Ain't-Home" October 31, 2016 1.3/5 6.42[19] 0.6 1.9[107]
8 "Who's Better than Us?" November 7, 2016 1.7/6 7.41[20] N/A N/A
9 "The Power of Positive Drinking" November 14, 2016 1.6/5 7.06[21] N/A N/A
10 "The Fantastic Pho" November 21, 2016 1.5/5 6.97[22] 0.5 2.0[108]
11 "Kevin's Bringing Supper Back" December 5, 2016 1.5/5 7.14[23] N/A N/A
12 "I'll Be Home for Christmas...Maybe" December 12, 2016 1.4/5 7.31[24] 0.6 2.0[109]
13 "Ring Worm" January 2, 2017 1.4/5 7.36[25] N/A N/A
14 "Kevin vs. The Dutch Elm" January 16, 2017 1.7/6 8.66[26] N/A N/A
15 "Choke Doubt" January 23, 2017 1.7/6 8.62[27] 0.6 2.3[110]
16 "The Back Out" February 6, 2017 1.5/5 7.91[28] N/A N/A
17 "Unholy War" February 13, 2017 1.5/6 7.85[29] N/A N/A
18 "Neighborhood Watch" February 20, 2017 1.4/5 7.29[30] N/A N/A
19 "Showroom Showdown" March 13, 2017 1.3/5 6.79[31] N/A N/A
20 "Double Date" March 20, 2017 1.1/4 5.93[32] N/A N/A
21 "Kenny Can Wait" April 10, 2017 1.2/5 6.04[33] N/A N/A
22 "Quiet Diet" April 17, 2017 1.1/4 5.90[34] N/A N/A
23 "Sting of Queens: Part One" May 1, 2017 1.2/5 6.26[35] N/A N/A
24 "Sting of Queens: Part Two" May 8, 2017 1.1/5 5.68[36] N/A N/A

Season 2 (2017–18)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
Total
(18–49)
1 "Civil Ceremony" September 25, 2017 2.3/8 10.26[37] TBD TBD
2 "Business Unusual" October 2, 2017 1.3/5 6.65[38] TBD TBD
3 "Kevin Goes Nuts" October 9, 2017 1.2/4 6.01[39] TBD TBD
4 "Plus One is the Loneliest Number" October 16, 2017 1.1/4 5.96[40] TBD TBD
5 "Grief Thief" October 23, 2017 1.2/4 6.11[41] TBD TBD
6 "The Owl" October 30, 2017 1.2/5 6.35[42] TBD TBD
7 "The Kevin Crown Affair" November 6, 2017 1.2/5 6.31[43] TBD TBD
8 "Slip 'n' Fall" November 13, 2017 1.3/5 6.15[44] TBD TBD
9 "Cooking Up a Storm" November 20, 2017 1.2/5 6.09[45] TBD TBD
10 "Kevin Moves Metal" November 27, 2017 1.2/5 6.35[46] TBD TBD
11 "Trainer Wreck" December 11, 2017 1.1/4 6.31[47] TBD TBD
12 "The Might've Before Christmas" December 18, 2017 1.1/4 6.40[48] TBD TBD
13 "Monkey Fist Insecurity" January 15, 2018 1.3/5 7.21[49] TBD TBD
14 "Kevin Can Date" January 22, 2018 1.3/5 7.37[50] TBD TBD
15 "Fight or Flight" January 29, 2018 1.2/5 7.28[51] TBD TBD
16 "40 Under 40" February 5, 2018 1.2/5 6.95[52] TBD TBD
17 "Wingmen" February 26, 2018 1.1/4 6.09[53] TBD TBD
18 "The Whole Enchilada" March 5, 2018 1.1/4 6.31[54] TBD TBD
19 "Delivery Guy" March 19, 2018 1.0/4 5.67[55] TBD TBD
20 "Forty Seven Candles" March 26, 2018 0.9/4 5.68[56] TBD TBD
21 "The Smoking Bun" April 9, 2018 1.0/4 5.75[57] TBD TBD
22 "Phat Monkey" April 16, 2018 0.9/4 5.26[58] TBD TBD
23 "Brew Ha Ha" April 30, 2018 0.8/3 4.98[59] TBD TBD
24 "A Band Done" May 7, 2018 1.0/4 5.45[60] TBD TBD

Home media[edit]

The Complete First Season was released on DVD on September 5, 2017, by Sony Pictures Television.[111]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The company was named Golden Phoenix Security in "Business Unusual" and "Kevin Goes Nuts", before being changed in the latter episode.
  2. ^ Donna's death has still yet to be explained to the audience. Multiple earlier season two episodes state it's been a year, but in "Cooking Up a Storm", it was stated that Wendy has been chasing after Kevin for ten months. Although her actual cause of death also has yet to be revealed, many conversations suggest it was sudden.
  3. ^ Weidman is also credited in the season two episode "Monkey Fist Insecurity", but does not have any lines.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]