The second season of Kevin Can Wait is edging closer and closer to becoming a sequel (or prequel) to landmark sitcom The King of Queens, as co-star Erinn Hayes will depart the show, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
Hayes played star Kevin James' wife Donna, and will not be returning next season, a fact which was first reported by TV Line. This news comes shortly after CBS announced King of Queens co-star Leah Remini would be joining the show full time in Season 2, after a much ballyhooed guest appearance at the end of Season 1.
It's one thing to write a friend or co-worker off a sitcom, but Kevin Can Wait is about the home life of a retired ex-cop (played by James); so having his wife just up and disappear vastly changes the dynamic of the show. And it sounds like that's part of the plan: the show is heading in a new creative direction in Season 2, which (clearly) doesn't leave room for Hayes' character.
It's possible (and mind you, this is all speculation) that the final episodes of Season 1 were a sneaky back-door pilot for the new status quo: Kevin briefly returned to his life as a cop, pairing up with Remini's Vanessa Cellucci.
So will the show morph into a precinct based workplace sitcom in Season 2? Will Remini just move in with James, as if Hayes never existed? Will Jerry Stiller get sucked into the show by the gravitational pull of King of Queens nostalgia by season's end?
For that news, like Kevin, you'll have to wait.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)