leah remini

*So what has Leah Remini been doing since she and Holly Robinson Peete were abruptly booted from CBS’ “The Talk?” She’s taken her talents back to ABC.

“It is a blessing to be here, and I hope to stay for a long time and get comfortable,” said Remini, who started her acting career on the network’s 1989 series, “Living Dolls.”

“I was playing a model,” said the 42-year-old Brooklyn native. “And my mother actually, when I got the part of ‘Living Dolls,’ my mother said, ‘What’s the show about?’ I said, ‘It’s a show about models.’ And she said, ‘What part are you playing?’”

Next month, the actress will be playing the role of a meddling, opinionated woman in “Family Tools.” The sitcom follows Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer), a perennial screw-up who finds himself in the unlikely position of taking over his ailing father’s hardware-handyman business, but finds the transition isn’t as easy he thought it would be. Adding to his frustration is Remini’s character Aunt Terry, his father’s sister and caretaker who always has something to say about his shortcomings.


Kyle Bornheimer, Johnny Pemberton and Leah Remini in “Family Tools”

Remini says it’s refreshing that “Family Tools” showrunner Bobby Bowman and the rest of her cast are comfortable going off script when the feeling arises.

“Sometimes you work with people and they’re not able to just go kind of ad-lib and just do little things and have little nuances without knowing each other for a long time,” she said. “Bobby allowed us to do that, whereas a lot of executive producers don’t really love that right away.”

Below, Remini says it’s also refreshing to be moving on after her headline-making exit from “The Talk” in 2011.

“Family Tools” also starring J.K. Simmons, Danielle Nicolet and Edi Gathegi, premieres May 1 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Watch the promo below.