Kevin Can Wait, Kevin James' post-King of Queens return to TV, has used its star's clout to land A-list guest stars in its first season, including Adam Sandler, Ray Romano and Billy Joel. But none are more notable than the one showing up in the season finale: Leah Remini, who played Kevin James' wife for nine seasons on The King of Queens.
In "Sting of Queens," the two-part season finale, former cop Kevin Gable (James) agrees to temporarily come out of retirement to finish an undercover assignment with Officer Vanessa Cellucci (Remini) where they pose as husband and wife. The thing is, they were professional rivals, so old disagreements are going to pop back up and jeopardize the mission.
It's a real treat for King of Queens fans to see James and Remini together again, but what about Donna (Erinn Hayes), James' wife on Kevin Can Wait? Was she jealous?
Not at all, says Hayes. Vanessa and Donna have a friendly relationship and in fact share similar grievances about their often less-than-satisfactory husband.
How about Hayes herself? Has their any behind-the-scenes tension between the first and second wives?
Once again, the answer is nope. Remini was lovely.
"I walked into my dressing room and there was a beautiful bouquet of white roses with a card that said, 'it takes a lot of security for the new wife to welcome the old wife. Thanks for having me. From Leah, First Wives Club' or something like that," says Hayes. "It was very sweet."
Elsewhere in the episode, big things are happening with the rest of the family. Donna is up for a promotion, Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) gets accepted to law school, and Chale (Ryan Cartwright) gets a lucrative new job. All of these things are setting up big changes to come in Season 2. Kendra and Chale's wedding will also be addressed in some way in Season 2, Hayes says.
Beyond that, though, Hayes won't know what else is coming up next season until she goes back to work in August. She has an idea of what she'd like to see more of in Season 2, though.
"It was so refreshing to see Leah come on and get a funny lady on there. I would love to see some more big, brash female guest stars," says Hayes. "Like a Rachel Dratch or an Amy Sedaris. Somebody that can go toe-to-toe with Kevin or that I could have fun scenes with."
She also has her crew of LA comedy friends like Michaela Watkins, as well as her former Childrens Hospital co-star Malin Akerman, who films Billions on Long Island not far from Kevin Can Wait's studio.
"We were trying to get her for something [in Season 1], but it wasn't the right role," says Hayes. "If we can get the timing to work out, she's very high on the list of people we want to come on the show, we just have to write something great for her."
Part one of Kevin Can Wait's Season 1 finale airs Monday, May 1 at 8/7c followed by part two on May 8 on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)