If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. That is not a mantra that CBS is going to live by, at least when it comes to Season 2 of Kevin Can Wait. After finishing its rookie season as the highest rated new sitcom, Kevin Can Wait is going in an entirely different direction next season, and it has produced mixed feelings.
First things first. It was announced that Leah Remini, James’s on-screen wife for nine seasons on King of Queens, was announced as a series regular for Season 2 of Kevin Can Wait. After she appeared on the two-part season finale this past season as James’s former partner on the police force, Vanessa Cellucci. For nostalgic purposes, it was great to see James and Remini reunite. The on-screen chemistry was still clearly present. With that being said, I thought that Erinn Hayes did a fantastic job as James’s new wife on Kevin Can Wait, playing the role of Donna Gable. Many times, after watching a sitcom star on a successful show try out a new show with a new cast, the results are often lacking. That was not at all the case with this show, however, as James and Hayes were great together.
Unfortunately, certainly for fans of Hayes, that was not enough for CBS, announcing that she was let go from the show, not for talent purposes, but because the show was going to head in a new creative direction for Season 2.
That leaves far more answers than questions. In what appears to be a King of Queens 2.0, where does that leave all of the characters. We know that Hayes is out after quitting her job in the Season 1 finale. James’s character is also unemployed. The couple has three kids. Where does this leave them? How do they explain why their mother is no longer around? Is it a divorce? Did she die? Is she just going to become one of those sitcom characters that is constantly discussed, yet never seen? Does she take all three kids (and Chael) and leave James and move to New Jersey? Do they all suddenly disappear and get replaced by Remini and Jerry Stiller?
It will be very interesting to see how CBS explains Hayes’s departure from the show on the Season 2 premiere in September. While fans of King of Queens may be pleased, fans of Hayes are extremely upset. It will be very important to see how they both enter in to the ratings equation. Perhaps, that will all be discovered in September.