Erinn Hayes has been fired from Kevin Can Wait, and fans of the 41-year-old actress are fired up. Hayes was reportedly let go from CBS’s new Kevin James comedy as the actor’s former King of Queens wife, Leah Remini, joins the cast as a series regular, according to TV Line. The shocking move comes as part of a “creative reset” for the sitcom for its second season. Hayes appeared to be blindsided by the move when she posted a message to fans, telling them she was “sad” that she was let go from the show.
“True, I’ve been let go from the show,” Erinn Hayes posted to Twitter. “Very sad, I had a great experience Season 1. Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”
Last month, Leah Remini returned to claim her spot as James’ leading lady when she appeared as a guest star on Kevin Can Wait. Remini’s guest spot as Vanessa Cellucci, James’ former police partner, was so well received that it turned into a permanent role for her.
Kevin James certainly can’t have two TV wives, so one of them had to go. Unfortunately for Erinn, while she may have been there first as Donna Gable, James’ character’s wife of 20 years on Kevin Can Wait, Remini’s nine-year history with her longtime King of Queens co-star won out.
While King of Queens fans are happy about the move, many Kevin Can Wait fans are furious over the way Erinn Hayes has been disrespected by the series that she helped catapult to CBS’s No. 1 comedy spot.
The backlash has been swift against James and the rest of the Kevin Can Wait producers, with some fans promising to boycott the show and anything else the actor appears in. Some fans even revealed they have now canceled their CBS All Access subscriptions.
According to Variety, Erinn Hayes was not let go from Kevin Can Wait due to her performance. A source told the magazine the move was strictly based on the show going in a different creative direction and “not a reflection” of Erinn’s acting abilities. But the unusual move to replace a main character will surely not go unnoticed by fans of the show.
Remini will return as Vanessa Cellucci, but the big question is how will producers explain the departure of Erinn Hayes’ Donna? If writers opt to have the Gables divorce, it’s odd that they would have let Hayes go completely. That leaves the possibility of a darker demise for Erinn Hayes’ character, which is certainly nothing to laugh at.
No matter what happens to Donna, it would be no surprise that, given James and Remini’s undeniable chemistry, their Kevin Can Wait characters will eventually end up as a couple. The duo bickered throughout their two Kevin Can Wait episodes together, which is pretty much how they communicated on King of Queens. In other words, a match made in TV heaven. But this other woman has proven to be a thorn in Erinn Hayes’ side as she loses the coveted primetime TV gig.
King of Queens fans may recall a funny episode that had James’ character Doug Heffernan making the most of having two “wives” in Season 6’s “Awful Bigamy.” When dog walker Holly (Nicole Sullivan) needed a place to stay, Doug and Carrie (Remini) let her move in, and she turned into a cook/maid for the clan while Carrie logged hours in her upstairs office on a stressful work project. Doug gloated that he had an upstairs wife and a downstairs wife.
Erinn Hayes recently wrapped the movies BandAid and Sharon 1.2.3. Kevin Can Wait returns (without Hayes) on Monday, Sept. 25 on CBS.
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