Bruce Fretts
May 30, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Could The King of Queens’ reign be in danger? In next fall’s most surprising scheduling move, CBS will shift Kevin James’ hit sitcom from its comfy Monday leadoff spot to the more precarious perch of Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ”I feel like a kid going to college — it’s time to grow up and move out,” says James. ”I’m a little nervous, but hopefully I’m gonna get drunk and miss a lot of class.” You can’t blame the guy for turning to booze, considering King’s seemingly incompatible new lead-in, 60 Minutes II, and rough competition, including ABC’s The Bachelor, NBC’s The West Wing, and Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show. Still, the funnyman has a plan: ”To attract viewers, I have to go shirtless.” But seriously, folks, King’s syndication launch in September could encourage new viewers to seek out the series in prime time, and the show’s move to a later hour may lure a more mature crowd. In any case, James is staying positive: ”It’s a vote of confidence from CBS. Whether it hits a home run, I leave that to God.”

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