Kevin Can Wait season 2: Kevin James on Erinn Hayes’ departure

Kevin JamesFor the first time Kevin James is speaking out in-depth about the departure of Erinn Hayes from Kevin Can Waitand his comments are … interesting.

In a new interview with the New York Daily News we saw James for the first time do her part to explain the sudden change with his CBS sitcom — after all, Hayes’ Donna was not only the female lead, but her character was also his character’s wife! Killing her off was a really dramatic change for the show, and to make up for that the producers instituted a massive time jump so that Kevin wouldn’t be dealing with his late wife’s passing in the way that he would have if the jump was shorter.

Here is what James had to say in full:

“It really felt like this was needed for this show to drive forward … The [premise] of the show didn’t have enough drive. If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. We were literally just running out of ideas.”

James also discussed in the interview what he and the other producers saw and liked about Leah Remini joining the show at the end of the first season — a move that quickly became permanent going into season 2:

“When [Leah first] came on … it was just the greatest. Fans loved it, everybody on the crew loved it. We just knew right away, so we thought, ‘How can we get her here full-time to be on the show?’”

Do we understand at CarterMatt some of what Kevin is saying here? Absolutely, since Remini is a brilliant performer and she brings a lot to the show. Does this change that Kevin Can Wait did Donna dirty? Absolutely not. We’re a believer that if you focus enough there could’ve been enough stories for this show to last many more seasons. Look at all the comedies with flimsy premises that went on for a good four or five years! This one could’ve figured out a way. We’re not going to tell them how to run the show, but there has been a backlash since Hayes’ exit. Sitcoms are about constancy and change is difficult. It remains to be seen how much is going to be in the tank with Leah on board the show now.

There ultimately is a long way to go the rest of the season; with that, we do still think there is time for Kevin Can Wait to sink or swim even more as a show.

What do you think about some of the comments from Kevin James on the show and Hayes’ departure? Be sure to share some of your thoughts in the comments below!

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