CBS ‘Kevin Can Wait’ Spent Fifteen Seconds Killing Off Erinn Hayes’ Donna
Sitcoms don’t have the most graceful history of handling turnover among cast (Two and a Half Men, anyone?), and CBS’ Kevin Can Wait has added one for the books. Watch how they handled the departure of Erinn Hayes as Kevin’s wife Donna … in less than twenty seconds.
It was back in June that CBS confirmed Hayes would leave Kevin Can Wait in her role as Donna Gable, though no exact explanation for the departure was offered. The optics grew a bit more complicated when the series confirmed Kevin James’ former King of Queens partner Leah Remini would stick around in a replacement role, though CBS stressed that Hayes’ exit would be handled respectfully.
That said, BuzzFeed recorded one of only two instances from Monday’s premiere in which Donna’s off-screen demise was addressed. “Respectfully” isn’t the word we’d use.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) September 26, 2017
Additionally, Kevin’s daughter Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) got married during the premiere, and briefly lamented that her mother wasn’t there to see it. The episode also re-introduced Remini as Kevin’s boss Vanessa, though the two aren’t noted as a romantic pairing just yet. As tends to be the case with questionable sitcom exits, no one’s 100% forthcoming on what happened, though Hayes did note in June that she’d been “let go” from the series:
Time will tell if Kevin Can Wait improves its standing any with James and Remini back in their King of Queens dynamic, but how should the series have handled Erinn Hayes’ exit?