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Erinn Hayes’ ‘Kevin Can Wait’ Character is Getting Killed Off to Make Room For Leah Remini

Rough exit. Erinn HayesKevin Can Wait character, Donna, is getting killed off the show in order to handle Leah Remini joining as a series regular. “The character will have passed away,” CBS programming boss Thom Sherman explained at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Variety reports. “We will be moving forward in time catching up at a later date.”

Kevin James and Erinn Hayes on Kevin Can Wait.
Kevin James and Erinn Hayes on Kevin Can Wait. David M. Russell/CBS

As for why the character was killed, rather than written off in a different way, Sherman explained that it was simply the best way to further the storyline. “The discussions went on,” he told a group of reporters. “We talked about other things. Ultimately this what was decided with the producers that this was the best way to move forward.”

Leah Remini and Erinn Hayes on Kevin Can Wait.
Leah Remini and Erinn Hayes on Kevin Can Wait. Jeff Neumann/CBS

As previously reported, Remini announced on June 3 that she would be joining Kevin James and the cast as a series regular following a guest role on the show’s season finale. The same day, Hayes announced that she was exiting the series. “True, I’ve been let go from the show,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “Very sad, I had a great experience season 1. Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”

Remini, who starred alongside James from 1998 to 2007 on the King of Queens, took to Instagram at the time to celebrate the gig. “Dreams do come true,” wrote the actress, who will play undercover officer Vanessa. “#blessed #grateful.”

Kevin Can Wait season 2 premieres on CBS on Monday, September 25, at 9 p.m. ET. 

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