Erinn Hayes isn’t crying the blues over her “divorce” from CBS’ Kevin Can Wait. Just one month after she confirmed the news that she was “let go” from the current Kevin James sitcom, Hayes has landed a starring role in Bryan Cranston’s upcoming Amazon comedy, The Dangerous Book for Boys, according to Deadline. Hayes will play a widow, Beth, in the six-episode series based on the bestselling book of the same name. The series deals with the aftermath of the death of family patriarch Patrick, a man who left behind a life guidebook for his sons which they use to “reconnect” with him.
Actor Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley) has been cast alongside Erinn Hayes in the duo role of dead dad Patrick and his identical twin brother, Terry, who comes to live with Hayes’ character and her kids.
Cranston has been working on the book-based project for a while. The Breaking Bad alum first put The Dangerous Book for Boys into development as a TV series in 2014, according to Variety. But the timing works out perfectly for Erinn Hayes, who was abruptly canned from Kevin Can Wait in June, shortly after the CBS comedy got a second season pickup.
Kevin Can Wait producers said the casting move had nothing to do with Erinn’s performance and was due to a creative reset that includes the addition of James’ longtime King of Queens co-star Leah Remini. In an interesting twist, Hayes’ new boss, Bryan Cranston, once had a recurring role on The King of Queens, playing Kevin James’ character’s annoying next door neighbor, Tim Sacksky.
While Erinn Hayes’ next acting role is set, Kevin Can Wait’s future remains unclear. Erinn had a major role on the freshman season of the CBS sitcom, playing Kevin James’ wife, Donna Gable, so the explanation of her departure could go a number of ways. As of now, the rest of the Kevin Can Wait cast members still have their jobs, so it’s possible the Gables will either divorce or Donna will be killed off.
Kevin Can Wait could also pull a trick similar to what recently announced rebooted shows Roseanne and Will & Grace are planning to do: Just pretend the first season didn’t happen. James did that in a low-key way on the King of Queens when early characters Sara Spooner (Lisa Rieffel) and Richie Iannucci (Larry Romano) disappeared after the first season and were never mentioned again.
Last year, Erinn Hayes told Forbes she was excited to start work on Kevin Can Wait. At the time, Hayes admitted she was “riding on some serious coattails” by working with comedy king Kevin James. Now, that ride is over, and she’ll move on to Bryan Cranston and Amazon.
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