Leah Remini Stars in New ABC Comedy "Family Tools"
ABC/BOB D’AMICO(NEW YORK) — Leah Remini returns to her acting roots by starring in ABC’s newest comedy, Family Tools, which premieres Wednesday.
The 42-year-old actress, who began her acting career on the 1989 ABC sitcom Living Dolls, is set to play Terry in Family Tools, a series about handyman Tony Shea, played by J.K. Simmons. He suffers a heart attack and is forced to hand over his business to his eager yet unprepared son. Remini plays Shea’s younger sister.
Remini says it was tough choosing her next step after getting booted unceremoniously from CBS’ daytime talk show The Talk last year. Rumors swirled that there was “tension on set” and host Julie Chen reportedly told other co-hosts that her husband, CBS CEO Les Moonves, could “fire your a**es any day.”
Remini tells ABC News Radio that ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee contacted her after she left The Talk and said, “‘You know, you’re going to be here. You’re going to be doing comedy again. We love you.’”
“He was so sweet about having me come back to where I started my career and I just love the idea of being back at ABC,” Remini adds.
Remini says she was also glad to be back at a sitcom where she didn’t have to worry about comparisons with The Talk.
“You know the thing is I didn’t want to do anything that came off like I’m trying to compete with them in any way…I was kind of very sensitive to that,” she tells ABC News Radio, adding, “I kind of wanted the controversy to go away.”
The actress says one day perhaps she’ll pen a tell-all book or even let reality show cameras follow her around to finally share her side of the story.
In the interim, the actress is working on her chemistry with co-star Simmons. She calls him a “real actor” and says they already have that playful brother-sister relationship, which helps onscreen.
“Already the dynamic was there…because I’m decorating the dressing rooms and he’s like, ‘Get the hell out of here with these flowers and candles,’” she says with a laugh. “And already, the relationship is already there.”
Remini, who is probably best known for her role opposite Kevin James on The King of Queens, says the new show’s focus on family is what made her agree to do the series.
“I loved it because it’s about family and I love shows that are simple…,” she says. “King of Queens was very simple in concept. You really couldn’t say it was about anything really. It was like, oh, a married couple, and the crazy father lives in the basement. And [it's] a similar thing here: me and J.K. play brother and sister. We live together and my crazy son and nephew are going to live in the basement.”
Family Tools premieres Wednesday, May 1, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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