Kevin James has broken his silence on Kevin Can Wait's casting fiasco, telling the New York Daily News that Erinn Hayes' character was killed off because the writers couldn't think of anything else to do with her.
"The plot of the show didn't have enough drive," James said. "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 said that in the original conception of the show, his character was a single father and this change moved it back in that direction, which he feels is a more fertile creative territory.
Hayes was dismissed from the show before the start of the second season. The show's female lead is now Leah Remini, who played James' wife on the long-running sitcom The King of Queens. She first appeared as a guest star in Season 1 playing Kevin Gable's former NYPD colleague, and was brought on full-time in Season 2 as Kevin's new boss and potential love interest.
James doesn't explain why Hayes' character Donna was killed off instead of having the couple get divorced, which would would have made more sense for the tone of the show. Previously, executive producer Rob Long said that Donna was killed off "out of respect" for Hayes. Despite this, fans were not happy how Donna's death was handled, with only a brief mention of her in the season premiere.
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