Producers have revealed the reason why they decided to kill off Erinn Hayes’s Donna Gable (and before Kevin Can Wait season 2), and it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
Earlier this summer, the actress confirmed that she was leaving Kevin Can Wait after just one season, before it was then announced that Kevin James’ former King Of Queens co-star Leah Remini would replace her. Now, Kevin Can Wait’s executive producer Rob Long has explained that they decided to go all out and kill Donna Gable out of respect for both the character and how Erinn Hayes portrayed her. Seriously.
“The goal was to give Kevin’s character a real drive and a real predicament (involving) how a family comes back together (after tragedy),” Long explained to TVLine, before then bizarrely adding, “Also, out of respect for the character of Donna – and certainly the way that Erinn Hayes portrayed her – it seemed like the only right and fair way to treat her character.”
Obviously, there is a way for Erinn’s death to be handled in a respectful manner. Maybe she perished saving dozens of children from a sinking bus, or by sacrificing herself in some other heroic fashion. But not only is it unlikely that Kevin Can Wait will depict her passing, but in the show she is still a mother of three.
That means that we can expect some very emotional scenes in the opening few episodes of Kevin Can Wait season 2, which are going to lack any integrity whatsoever as the show put itself in this situation. It’s going to be especially peculiar because Leah Remini actually made her debut on the show in the two-part Kevin Can Wait season 1 finale.
Kevin Can Wait’s producers will be confident that the combined presence and charisma of Kevin James and Leah Remini will help to paper over these cracks, though. We’ll see if they can do just that when the Kevin Can Wait season 2 premiere comes to CBS on September 25.