CBS has been criticized time and time again for refusing to pick up any new shows with female leads, and now it appears that even female costars aren't safe. It was announced in June that Kevin Can Wait, starring Kevin James, would kill off the main character's wife, Donna, played by actress Erinn Hayes. CBS did not specify how at the time, but fans finally got an answer in the show's season two premiere. Needless to say, they weren't happy.
Instead of giving Donna a thoughtful send-off, which is what a few audience members were expecting, there's a brief mention about how "it's been over a year since she died." Kevin's daughter Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) is getting married, so they have a quick conversation about how sad they are that Donna isn't there to witness the event.
Hayes and Donna's departure was done to make room for the arrival of Leah Remini's character, Vanessa Cellucci. After a guest spot on season one, CBS decided that the chemistry between the former King of Queens costars was too strong to ignore and ousted Hayes. There's no denying that James and Remini work well together after having shared a screen for nearly 10 years, but why did that mean Donna had to be killed off? It's a question that a lot of fans are still upset about.
Never watching #kevincanwait again. Killing off your wife and mother of your children isn't really that funny. Erinn Hayes was hilarious.
— Jack Wunschel (@drummerjack) September 26, 2017
— Eli Falcon (@EliJfalcon) September 26, 2017
#KevinCanWait the mom died? Oh come on. Feel bad for the actress who played her.
— louise (@fabila56) September 26, 2017
#KevinCanWait very disappointed they got rid of Donna... I thought that she made the show. Not watching the show anymore..
— Becky Engle (@beckykeener47) September 26, 2017
#KevinCanWait if they really wanted to be funny they should've kept Erinn Hayes and brought back Jerry Stiller instead of Leah Remini
— jeff hlookoff (@Dukeofrentfree) September 26, 2017
— Alyce Weikel (@AlyceWeikel) September 26, 2017
— 🇺🇸 Nisey 🇺🇸 (@Nisey72) September 26, 2017
— Kelena Sothersby (@Tua_motu) September 26, 2017
— Billy Cantrell (@BillyLioncraft) September 26, 2017
— Dread Pirate Roberts (@kaciedilla) September 26, 2017
— Sylvia McCorkle M.S. (@mrsssmac) September 26, 2017
Wow. Really. #KevinCanWait just casually mentions his wife "died over a year ago". Just to bring Leah Remini back. Sad and distasteful
— Nathan Reed (@nathanreed001) September 26, 2017