Fans of Kevin Can Wait, consider this a potentially less-than-welcome surprise: Erinn Hayes’ Donna will be killed off the show.
It’s been known for some time that Hayes was going to be leaving the show, and not of her own accord given that the reason cited for the departure was the old “creative changes” label that gest thrown around a lot. Hayes was beloved by many, but what does seem to be great news for her is that she seems to already be lining other work up and doesn’t seem to be suffering at all from saying farewell to this show.
today chose to address not only Hayes’ departure from the show at their TCA Summer Press Tour panel, but also how Donna would be written out — and it’s depressing. Apparently, the character is getting killed off, and while the decision will be done tastefully, it’s still tough to swallow. The problem is that the writers may not have have had any other choice once the decision was made to bring in Leah Remini full-time and write Erinn off the show. It doesn’t make sense for a woman like Donna to want to abandon her kids, so whatever decision that was made had to be done with that thinking in mind. It also wasn’t going to be possible for the show to just bring Kevin James’ character back to work and not focus on his family at all, given that this was the entire original premise of the show and there would be continuous questions on why things were being told that way.
As for why CBS wanted to take this sort of enormous risk in the first place, that is something that Thom Sherman, Senior Exec VP of Programming for the network addressed. Check out his quote below via TVLine:
“[When] when everybody collectively saw how Leah and Kevin worked together in those last couple of episodes, there was just an undeniable spark there. Kevin, the studio [Sony] and the network wanted to keep that magic and chemistry going forward.”
Why not bring both Hayes and Remini to the show full-time? Maybe there were some issues with either the budget of the show or the number of cast members. Sometimes, there can be too many metaphorical cooks in the kitchen and that can make things a little bit more challenging for everyone involved. We are excited to see Remini and James back together full-time given that this was one of the great things about The King of Queens when that show was on the air; unfortunately, the change just had to transpire under these circumstances, which is quite a shame given that we’re talking here about someone else getting out of a job.
Do you think that killing off Hayes’ character is the right move?
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