‘Kevin Can Wait’ Producer Explains Donna Had To Die ‘Out Of Respect’ For Erinn Hayes

Kevin Can Wait made a controversial decision which did not sit well with its fans –to kill off Donna after the departure of Erinn Hayes from the series. The show’s executive producer Rob Long explained the reason behind their decision.

Long explained how they are planning to deal with Donna’s death in Kevin Can Wait Season 2. According to him, their goal was to give Kevin a “real drive and a real predicament” as the family recovers from a major tragedy. He went on to continue that they are also doing it as a sign of respect for Donna’s character and for “the way that Erinn Hayes portrayed her.” Long continued that this appeared to be the “right and fair way to treat her character.”

The decision to kill off Donna rather than focus solely on Kevin’s work life might have saved the character from being killed off although it means changing the direction of Kevin Can Wait Season 2. Long explained, this “was not in the cards.” He also explained the idea was to portray Kevin as a single father. He added that they were attracted of seeing Kevin learn how to manage as a new single parent with three kids to take care of.

During the Television Critics Association Press Tour CBS Entertainment’s Thom Sherman revealed Donna will pass away at the beginning of the second season. There will be a time jump, and the story will catch up at a later date.

The news of Hayes’ departure came after the show confirmed Leah Remini is going to join Kevin Can Wait Season 2. The actress who used to be James’ co-star in King of Queen will be a series regular for the upcoming installment.

As for how the writers are planning to stage Donna’s death, there are no clues from the showrunners. Irrespective of the method they choose to write off Kevin’s wife off the show, Kevin Kahl, the president for entertainment at CBS, reveals Donna’s death “will be addressed tastefully. He also emphasized it will be done “with dignity and respect.”

Kevin Can Wait will be back on air on October 2, Monday on CBS.

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