Kevin James’ new sitcom for CBS, “Kevin Can Wait” — which received a straight-to-series order from the network Thursday — will be shot in its entirety at Bethpage’s Gold Coast Studios, becoming the first network prime-time series to originate from a Long Island-based facility.
Gold Coast spokeswoman Lyndsey Laverty said, “We are excited to announce that ‘Kevin Can Wait’ will be filmed on three of our six stages. It is a multicamera show that will start production in August. It will have a live audience.”
James — born Kevin George Knipfing in Mineola, later raised in Stony Brook and a Ward Melville High School class of ’83 graduate — starred in “The King of Queens” on CBS from 1998 to 2007.
Ingrid Dodd, co-founder of the Long Beach International Film Festival, and who has been Nassau County director of development for motion pictures and television over the last several years, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome James’ team to Bethpage. This will truly change the landscape of the film industry and our studios here in our own backyard.”
Many series have been filmed on Long Island over the years — none quite like this. While the series is in production, studio audiences will be used for what’s called a multicamera sitcom. The facilities, at 700 Hicksville Rd. in Bethpage, comprise six stages, which have been deployed for a number of movies (“Sisters”) and series episodes (“Person of Interest,” “America’s Got Talent”) in recent years. Gold Coast is one of two major production facilities on Long Island. The other, Grumman Studios, is a short distance from Gold Coast, on Grumman Road West in Bethpage.
Dodd, in a brief phone interview, said “this is the first time” a continuing prime-time series has been taped before a live audience on Long Island. She said the production “is not only filming in studio but using different locations around Nassau County as well.”
A statement from Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s office said the series stars James as “a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to discover he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.”
The statement said the series cast also includes local standup comics Joey Kola and Chris Roach.