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How Kevin Can Wait's Long Island Setting Breaks the Sitcom Mold

Kevin James and Erinn Hayes on how Kevin Can Wait is true to its setting

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Liam Mathews

Most sitcoms are taped on Hollywood lots, no matter where they're set. Kevin Can Wait, however, does something different. The show is set in the New York City suburb of Massapequa, New York, on Long Island. Rather than do the easy thing and fake the East Coast vibe from Southern California, Sony built a soundstage in a decommissioned aircraft hangar in Bethpage, New York, five miles from Massapequa, just for Kevin Can Wait.

Actually being on Long Island allows the setting to be part of the show in a way that's rare for a multi-camera sitcom.

Long Island is "literally a character in the show," series star Kevin James told TVGuide.com during a visit to the set. "It's got an authenticity to it, from the people we cast and deal with and the places we go on the show. It's really Long Island central."

Erinn Hayes and Kevin James

Erinn Hayes and Kevin James

Erinn Hayes, who plays Kevin's wife Donna, says that being on Long Island gives Kevin Can Wait the opportunity to add comedy-enhancing specifics.

"If we're going to shoot a show set on Long Island, we should have local references, we should have people that are from here," she says. "We should dive in and do it properly."

This means references to specific places, like All American Burger in Massapequa, visits to Long Island landmarks and the occasional character with a classic Long Island accent.

New episodes of Kevin Can Wait air Mondays at 8/7c on CBS (tonight will be a rerun at 8:30/7:30, with The Big Bang Theory at 8/7c).

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)