As many fans of Kevin Can Wait likely know at the moment, there was a lot of hubbub over the summer. Erinn Hayes was written out of the series, and we’ve learned since that time the character of Donna will be killed off. It is one of the few things that does make sense since the character wouldn’t abandon her entire family. Yet, at the same time it’s also a rather tragic way for a character on a sitcom to say goodbye. It fundamentally changes the structure of the show since you have to write some of the other characters into some sort of state of mourning.
Yet, what’s a little bit surprising to us is that in CBS’ first release about the upcoming September 25 premiere entitled “Civil Ceremony,” the Donna character is not mentioned in the synopsis at all. If you look below, the network is choosing to hype instead a potential wedding and also the full-time debut of Leah Remini as Kevin’s former partner Vanessa:
“Kendra and Chale must get married immediately when the Gables learn that he is about to be deported. As Kevin chases down Father Phillip (Jim Breuer) to officiate the ceremony, Vanessa helps Kendra put together the last-minute affair, on the second season premiere of KEVIN CAN WAIT, Monday, Sept. 25 (9:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Leah Remini joins the cast as Vanessa Cellucci, and Jim Breuer returns as Father Phillip.”
While Donna may not be mentioned in the synopsis, rest assured that she will be mentioned at some point in the premiere episode. It’s an impossible thing to ignore, and one thing that will matter more to this story is the timing of her death. If Donna passed a number of months ago, then there is no need to show a funeral or anything of the like. The characters will still miss her, but everyone will be trying to move forward.
In the end, this is such an unusual position for a sitcom to be in that it could prove interesting to see how Kevin Can Wait adapts from here creatively. Not only that, but it’s also going to be interesting to see what viewers think about the sudden change — while we’re very tapped in to the news as a journalist, there may be many viewers who are shocked by what they see in this first episode. Will getting Remini full-time help the show, or will more people be bitter over the loss of Hayes? We’ll find out in a matter of weeks.
What do you expect from the Kevin Can Wait premiere in the midst of all the change? Share in the comments below. (Photo: CBS.)