ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

Fans of the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait were shocked to learn that Erinn Hayes’s character would be killed off during the show’s hiatus between seasons, but that was only the beginning of the drama. When the Kevin Can Wait Season 2 premiere aired, many fans were livid that the show basically dismissed Kevin’s wife and literally gave no explanation regarding her demise.

Although many fans felt the treatment of Hayes's character was disrespectful, the show carried on and Leah Remini’s integration happened as planned. Recently, finally commented on why decided to kill off a main character during the show's hiatus, but unfortunately, the reasoning behind the decision is extremely unsatisfying.

Kevin James Explains Why Kevin Can Wait Killed Off Erinn Hayes's Character

Kevin Can Wait [Credit: CBS]
Kevin Can Wait [Credit: CBS]

During a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Kevin James went into some detail on why the decision was made to kill off Kevin’s wife on Kevin Can Wait, but the answer was not what fans were hoping for:

“The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive. 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.”

Sadly, Kevin James’s explanation speaks to the longevity of the show and suggests that after only one season of Kevin Can Wait, they had already run out of ideas. At that point, the creators of the show decided a good way to create the needed story to propel the show into future seasons would be to kill Kevin’s wife.

In the same interview, Kevin James also comments on the fan reaction to killing off Erinn Hayes’s character, and further cements his stance that the sacrifice was made to further the plot of 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. 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.”

Was The Production Team Behind Kevin Can Wait Really Running Out Of Ideas?

Kevin James seems to be hammering home the point that the writers were running out of ideas; however, the logic seems a bit strange. Sure, killing off the wife could have created a bevy of plot threads that carried the show through multiple seasons, but the show has hardly touched on any of them.

Later in the interview, Kevin James comments on why they brought his former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini on as a permanent cast member, which gives credence to the idea that they killed off Erinn Hayes's character just to bring her on the show:

"When [Leah Remini] came on … it was just the greatest. Fans loved it, everybody on the crew loved it. We just knew right away, so we thought, 'How can we get her here full-time to be on the show?'"

So far, Kevin Can Wait is only using the fact that Kevin's wife died as a way to inject Leah Remini into the show. Which would be fine — because she is a lovely actress — but they could have tackled it in several different ways that would be far more interesting like divorce, infidelity, or any complex human interaction.

No matter what their reasoning was, most fans agree that the decision to kill off a main character off-screen was upsetting. It will be interesting to see if the show tackles the death of Erinn Hayes's character any meaningful way in future episodes, but for now, it seemed like it was used as an excuse to bring Leah Remini on the show.

Sound off! What do you think of Kevin James's reasoning behind killing off Erinn Hayes' character on Kevin Can Wait? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.

(Source: The New York Daily News)


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