Kevin Can Wait Premiere: Will You Cop to Liking Kevin James' New Sitcom?

Kevin Can Wait brings Kevin James back to TV in his first sitcom since The King of Queens. Does his second CBS comedy deliver laughs anywhere near as well as Doug Heffernan delivered packages?

Monday’s series premiere introduced us to Kevin Gable (James), a newly retired cop, a caring husband to school nurse Donna (former Childrens Hospital doc Erinn Hayes) and a father to three kids, including the blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em Jack (James DiGiacomo) and Sara (Mary Charles-Jones). Unfortunately, Kevin’s dreams of a carefree retirement are jeopardized when eldest daughter Kendra (Melissa & Joey‘s Taylor Spreitler) announces she’s engaged. Even worse, she intends to drop out of her prelaw program to support app-developer fiancé Chale (Mom‘s Ryan Cartwright).

The premise of James’ latest laugher borrows heavily from KoQ, which found a thirtysomething deliveryman reluctantly allowing his father-in-law to move in and take over his media room. This time around, he’s a fortysomething cop whose plans to retire are disrupted when his daughter and her significant other move into the garage apartment he was going to rent out for income. Now he’ll have to resort to taking side jobs (like guarding a nearby auto mall without somehow morphing into Paul Blart: Mall Cop) to subsidize his off-duty plans, which include riding go-karts and shooting paintball with his fellow retirees (including The Neighbors‘ Lenny Venito) and his brother Kyle (portrayed by James’ real-life bro and former KoQ co-star Gary Valentine).

Episode 1 has its moments, such as a cold open featuring Kevin and Donna bonding over a Gyro Bowl, but it ultimately doesn’t get going until Kevin meets Chale at his retirement party. Left practically speechless by his soon-to-be son-in-law’s nebbish persona, Kevin and Donna are determined to make sure Kendra doesn’t let her “borefest” of a beau jeopardize her dreams of becoming a lawyer, and thus agree to let them take the apartment as long as she stays in school.

Kevin Can Wait should have no trouble mining humor from the odd-couple dynamic destined to form between Kevin and Chale, but it would first be wise to make Chale someone we can laugh with, and not just an archetype to laugh at. Cartwright is the ensemble’s early standout, but the “nerd” schtick promises to get old quick if the character isn’t fleshed out and the audience isn’t given a chance to see why Kendra would have fallen for Chale in the first place.

Have at it, folks: What did you think of Kevin Can Wait? Is there potential for James’ latest sitcom to improve, or is it a complete creative bust? Grade its debut via our poll, then voice your opinion below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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83 Comments
  1. Cobra says:

    Dull, boring, and lifeless. I turned it off about ten minutes in. I predict cancellation after 10 episodes.

    • Larry says:

      Off the air quickly? Just like King of Queens right?

      • Dysturbed says:

        I fairness, we’re of course in 2016 now and shows get yanked a lot more quickly than in the past.

        • jericho says:

          Also in fairness… KoQ had more interesting characters that were not a flat out cliche.

          “it would first be wise to make Chale someone we can laugh with, and not just an archetype to laugh at.” Couldn’t be more right on. They are definitely going for the same kind of relationship with Chale as Doug had with his father-in-law. But Chale is merely a caricature. The cast is just uninteresting. The daughter is cute and she has been good in other roles, but the other kids and his wife are just bland and unintersting.

          CBS needs to go back to the drawing board. If we wanted another sitcom based around a “fun, fat guy” we could have kept Mike and Molly, or watch the reruns of King of Queens that are on TBS 4 hours a day every day.

  2. Lisa Echerd says:

    Yet another show with an overweight, average looking guy and a much prettier, slimmer wife in a house his character couldn’t possibly afford. A few funny moments but mostly lines from the wife character. Next week, the TV can go off after Big Bang.

  3. H8tedit says:

    Just awful, unfunny, garbage. So sick of the ugly fat guy has a hot wife schtick. This show is incredibly unoriginal. Cancel it.

  4. Neemo says:

    I know CBS has its audience but this thingy is gonna be canceled faster than We are men. Funny, i still remember the name of that show.

  5. ThatBob says:

    Totally generic. Not one shred of originality. Could serve as a perfect example of tired sitcom tropes. So, it could run for years.

  6. Tom says:

    Eh, wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t standout either. Yay for Erinn Hayes, but yeah, *shrugs*. I’ll give it a few more chances to get better but so far it’s not something I’ll miss if it gets canceled

  7. :-) says:

    It was ok but not something I’d make an effort to see. If it loses that spot behind big bang i don’t think it will do well.

  8. knd says:

    So incredibly terrible. I lasted 10 minutes, mainly because it took me 5 to find my remote.

    • kevin says:

      lol….awesome comment…and spot on….funnier line than anything i saw in the show….

    • .I loved and still love King of Queens…but I’m sorry, this show is complete garbage….contrived, horrible one-liners (almost as bad as 2 broke girls), predictable (see every punch line coming well before it’s arrival)….I was looking forward to this too but only so far you can take the overweight jokes I guess…..bummer

  9. Esaul says:

    The only thing that saved the pilot was the scene with Chale and Todd. I laughed quite a bit with the interactions there. But I agree. He needs further fleshed instead of another cardboard cutout stereotype.

  10. What can he say that wasn’t said in his previous show? i dunno, remakes don’t do well.

  11. Nikolakis says:

    Not funny. But it’s CBS so it will get the views.

    • Boiler says:

      Yea the problem is it will get viewers because it follows Big Bang Theory. Too bad as this show stinks. Wish they would use TBBT lead in to boost one of its current decent comedies

    • MMD says:

      Not necessarily because I fell asleep about 5 minutes in and it aired at 8:30.

      • TheloNaGrapso says:

        Well if you had a meter (assuming you don’t) and you fell asleep even one minute in, it would count you as having watched it . . . I believe.

        It also seems many CBS viewers will set their TV to that channel and let it play.

  12. danoregon says:

    I liked it better when the show was called “Coach.”

  13. TaMara says:

    WTH did I just watch? Didn’t last ten minutes.

  14. Roni says:

    Kevin James is so funny, love him, but the wife is awful and plot was predictable. Kevin is funny, he’s better then this.

    • ameraleigh says:

      I agree, Kevin is always good in my opinion and deserves something better than this, the writing was pretty bad and I also thought the wife was terrible, she clearly stood out as a lesser actor next to Kevin. I’ll give it the four episode test but I’m not holding my breath for it to get any better.

  15. Cassie says:

    I didn’t find the show at all funny but according to the constant laugh track it was hilarious.

    • Gena says:

      After the “track marks”/varicose veins bit, I put my TV on mute (with open captions) so I could tell what was being said without having to listen to that laugh track — I still didn’t laugh once. :p

  16. Jimmy says:

    Very dull. Won’t be watching future episodes.

  17. Larry says:

    I thought it was good but the bitter hipsters will hate it oh well. Bet they hated King of Queens as well look how long that lasted.

  18. diana keenan says:

    I laughed my head off I thought is was so fun and glad to see Kevin back on TV can’t wait until next week

    • Amy says:

      Agree! Can’t wait for next week! Maybe I like it so much because I’m not comparing it to his other show. Also, it would be interesting to know the ages of the people commenting. I am 61 and retired, so can relate to his role (except for the young children).

  19. Justin says:

    I think what everyone is forgetting was this first episode was to set the plot of show. I think it did good and all of the previews were from this episode. I think going forward it will get better.

  20. Nad1ne77@Yahoo.com says:

    Too much of the audience laughter makes it seem not as funny

  21. Kevin K says:

    I give Kevin Can Wait an F. The King of Queens was one of the funniest sitcoms I’ve ever seen back in the day but I have a really bad feeling that Kevin James’ new series is going to be a huge disaster. Should be one of the worst new sitcoms of the season.

  22. cuius says:

    Two minutes less than The Good Place

  23. Vincent says:

    Awful, this show won’t last long.

  24. Kathryn Burns Trotter says:

    Way to much “canned laughter” lets hear what the lines are! Not every word is that funny

  25. Mindy says:

    i haven’t laughed this loudly in a while. I loved it.

  26. Walkie says:

    I loved King of Queens. I don’t know what he was thinking with this show. The premise is just terrible. Obviously there was very little thought put into it. No way this show gets a second season.

  27. I kept wanting Leah Remini as his wife and Jerry Stiller as his father-in-law. lol

  28. Eric says:

    I really wanted to like this, but I didn’t laugh once. It’s rare for someone who starred in a successful sitcom to come back a few years later with a show that’s just as good as the first. Bob Newhart comes to mind.

  29. Dee Dee Penny says:

    Loved him on K of Q’s, this does not compare, so far, to bad he’s very talented, the wife adds zero appeal!!!

  30. Amy says:

    I actually loved the show. We are newly retired, so maybe that’s why we liked it. I laughed quite a bit, and I like Kevin. Best of all, it was clean…..something that’s hard to find these days.

  31. Diane says:

    The ten minutes I watched was painfully bad

  32. HAP says:

    Doubt I’ll watch another episode.

  33. richard says:

    Already removed it from my Season Passes.

  34. SoMuchHope says:

    It was boring and felt like Doug Heffernan visiting his brother’s family.

  35. JenM says:

    I expected good things because I like Kevin James, but this was very forced and unfunny. I’ll give it one more chance because pilots often suck, but if the rest goes like this, I’ll be tuning out after TBBT.

  36. Linda says:

    We need more shows we can watch with our whole family. Not all people have families like Modern Family.

  37. Angela says:

    Maybe the pilot wasn’t as great as we all hoped for Kevin James, but we don’t give programs a chance anymore! There have been quite a few shows that have only gotten as far as 4 episodes before they were cancelled- right when they were starting to get good. And yet, other shows that are completely BORING (like Grandfathered, for example) stayed on the air for too long. No offense to John Stamos, but that show was bad. At least let these new shows play out the first season and see if it captures a loyal audience. C’mon executives- give it a chance to get some kind of flow going- don’t pull the plug so fast.

  38. TVg says:

    look much like “king of queen” but without the great supporting actors
    Leah Remini , and the best ever “arthur” Jerry Stiller
    when you see this new show ,its feel like a bad remake
    also kevin james was funny

  39. Emily Garlik says:

    The Laugh Track destroyed this promising show. Get rid of it!!!

  40. Terry says:

    I really like Kevin James,, so I am willing to give it time to find it’s way, if CBS will. It is still better than Two Broke Girls and it has been on for years. Don’t be too quick to judge.

  41. Marie says:

    Underwhelming & seeing Lenny Venito had me wishing ‘The Neighbors’ was still here.

  42. mamamitzvah says:

    I enjoyed it. The characters have potential & it has just enough quirky folks to make it different. Lenny Venito is always a plus. I loved Neighbours. That’s just me, though. Give me a show that does not preach, but offers to entertain & I am there. :)

  43. Cheryl says:

    It is so unbelievable that he is with a woman who looks like she’s half his age and he’s retired! Wow what terrible casting

  44. Ben says:

    I know of one person who liked it – the guy in charge of the laugh-track machine! Or maybe he stopped paying attention to that awful show and just pushed the button when anybody said anything. And I mean EH-NEH-EE-THING-GH!! I have a suggestion to the show’s creator: replace all of the actors with good ones; replace the characters with likeable ones; replace the plot with one that’s interesting and replace the writers with ones that know how to write something even remotely funny, and you’ll have a hit, I guarantee it!

  45. J cox says:

    Not the same connection as Queens. Should have stuck with Leah. Too dull and boring. Predict failure.

  46. CDoubleL says:

    Love Kevin James – unfortunately the new show was mediocre at best. Other comments are correct – it’s almost a remake of King of Queens but not as good. I say bring back Carrie, Deacon and the others and pretend this was all a dream. There are countless story lines for a revived King of Queens – including the kids that were included in their final episode. The old show – including Arthur was smartly written and well-cast. That’s where Kevin belongs – back to Doug Heffernin, waking up from a dream where he was a retired cop with a new family.

  47. Mike says:

    The wife doesnt fit shouldve came back with leah or someone similar

  48. paul says:

    Funny show but PLEASE kill the laughtrack. Horribly annoying to laugh att everything.

  49. Love it he too funny n cadt funny to great story lines

  50. Tropiqa says:

    Could not wait for this show to air and was very disappointed. Loved King of Queens and still love Kevin, but the rest of the cast is awful. It would be awesome to bring back King of Queens and Leah Remini is a MUST with Kevin. There’s no chemistry with this new wife and they don’t even look good together.