Kevin James has been cast as the lead in a new NASCAR-themed sitcom at Netflix. The comedian will serve as an executive producer on the show as well, according to a report by TV Line, and will be working with writers and producers from his previous shows as well as some from Netflix's hits. The show is titled The Crew.
James will play the crew chief at a NASCAR garage in The Crew. After years on the job, his character finds himself out of place when the owner steps down and leaves the garage to his daughter. The show will track James' character as he comes to understand his new millennial boss.
The Crew will be a multi-camera sitcom, so James should feel right at home except for the lack of commercial breaks. He will also be working alongside some familiar faces, including Jeff Sussman, who worked with him on The King of Queens years ago.
.@NASCAR will executive produce a new series called The Crew. The comedy — written by #TheRanch's Jeff Lowell — stars Kevin James as the crew chief in a NASCAR garage who finds himself at odds with the team's new owner, a tech reliant millennial. pic.twitter.com/62MZO61Hdw— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) September 4, 2019
The showrunner for the series is Jeff Lowell, who worked on Two and a Half Men and, more recently, The Ranch on Netflix. Having already proved that he can adapt the classic sitcom format for the streaming age, Lowell is now a writer and producer on this series.
Other executive producers include Todd Garner, who produced James' Pall Blart: Mall Cop, and two producers from NASCAR. The racing company has appointed Matt Summers and Tim Clark to work on the show on their behalf.
Of course, it sounds like James is meant to be the main draw of the new series, in addition to the NASCAR premise. James became a sitcom star more than 20 years ago when The King of Queens premiered on CBS in 1998. In 2016, the network brought him back as the lead in another multi-cam sitcom, Kevin Can Wait, which ended in 2018. He has also starred in numerous movies.
Online, James is often considered the butt of the joke, with his low-brow comedy inspiring memes buried deep in layers of irony. Users did not fail to note this when Netflix's announcement went up on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
"That sounds awful," one person tweeted of the show.
Even some NASCAR fans were unenthusiastic, feeling that their sport was trying too hard to reach outside of its fan base.0comments
"This will be unwatchable, like Racing Wives. How about NASCAR stay in their lane, give up on restaurants, making comedies, etc... and get back to basics of racing," one person tweeted. "No more political BS/SJW pandering and Virtue signaling."
So far, there is no word on when The Crew will premiere on Netflix.