Kevin James Reveals The Real Reason ‘Kevin Can Wait’ Killed Off The Lead Female Character

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We’re a few weeks into season 2 of Kevin Can Wait, and Kevin James is finally talking about the real reason they killed off his character’s wife, Donna (played by Erinn Hayes).

Over the summer, CBS revealed that Hayes would not be returning to the comedy, and instead Leah Remini was bumped to series regular, as former partner of James’ character, a retired cop named Kevin. Recently James opened up to the New York Daily News about the casting change, and admitted that although it seemed harsh to kill off Hayes’ character, it was best for the show.

“I get that people are like ‘Whoa, why would you do this?’ But it really felt like a thing like this was needed for this show to drive forward,” James told New York Daily News. “Now, I have to deal with my daughter in a different way, and she’s gonna go to college, or one’s getting married, or the holidays. And it deals with things in a different, weightier way.”

Even though Hayes leaving the series — her character died of cancer — left a big question mark for fans of the comedy, James revealed that the series was initially created as a story about a single father. With James newly-found single father status, the show’s creators have more freedom to create more interesting storylines.

“The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive,” James explained about season 1. “If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. We were literally just running out of ideas.”

Season 2 focuses on Kevin’s new role as a windowed father, how the kids are adjusting, and of course Remini’s addition to the series, but what do you think fans—are you happy with the change?

Kevin Can Wait airs Mondays on CBS.

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