Some Kevin Can Wait fans can’t wait to see Kevin James and Leah Remini back together again on the small screen, but their King Of Queens reunion comes at a cost. According to a recent report, Erinn Hayes will not be returning for the second season of Kevin Can Wait. This major cast shakeup raises some big questions about where the show will go now.
According to Deadline, Kevin Can Wait is heading “in a new direction” for Season 2. Erinn Hayes played Kevin James’ TV wife, Donna Gable, on the CBS sitcom, and she was still married to his retired cop character, Kevin Gable, at the end of the sitcom’s first season. Hayes seemed a bit blindsided by the news that she was being let go from the show. Just one day after she retweeted a message about the Kevin Can Wait Season 2 premiere date, she was confirming her exit from the series that was last season’s No. 1 new comedy.
“True, I’ve been let go from the show,” Hayes tweeted. “Very sad, I had a great experience Season 1. Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”
The decision to let Erinn Hayes go reportedly has nothing to do with her performance, but it may have everything to do with Leah Remini. Kevin James’ former King of Queens co-star is joining Kevin Can Wait as a series regular next season, so it’s safe to assume that she and James will be spending a lot of time together onscreen. When Kevin Can Wait premiered last year, Vulture wrote that one of the best things that the comedy had going for it was its familiarity, and adding Leah Remini to the cast will make it feel even more familiar to its targeted audience. Vulture also wrote that Children’s Hospital star Erinn Hayes is “forced to punch below her comedic weight” on the show.
The two-part Season 1 finale of Kevin Can Wait sets the show up for a big change. Kevin James’ character is a retired NYPD officer, and he’s working as a security guard. Kevin fears that he’s going to lose his job after he locks himself out of a building and gets stuck in a window, but he’s in luck. While his butt is still hanging out of the window, an NYPD officer informs him that he’s been asked to work one more big undercover job.
However, Kevin is not happy about being partnered up with his old rival, Vanessa Cellucci (Leah Remini). The pair go undercover as husband and wife to bust a criminal couple suspected of dealing in fraudulent art, but it’s clear that Vanessa thinks she’d have better luck bringing down the bad guys without her bumbling partner’s help. She’s almost proved right when Kevin’s antics continuously put their undercover operation in jeopardy, but he has a revelation that helps them crack the case just when they think that they’ve met a dead end.
Meanwhile, Donna Gable assumes that her husband is rejoining the force, so she quits her job working as a school nurse. The Season 1 finale ends with Kevin informing his wife that he had no intention of coming out of retirement. He probably isn’t going to respond to finding out that he’s now one-half of an unemployed couple by putting on a brown suit and delivering packages to support his family, but there will definitely be a lot of bickering with Leah Remini in his future.
There was no indication that Donna and Kevin were headed toward splitsville in the finale, but they’ll presumably be split up when Season 1 of Kevin Can Wait begins. There’s also the possibility that the show could take a dark turn by killing off Erinn Hayes’ character. Remini’s character and James’ character didn’t have any romantic chemistry in the Season 2 finale, which is something that may eventually change.
Kevin Can Wait returns Monday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
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