Kevin James Explains Why Kevin Can Wait Killed Off Donna: "We Were Literally Just Running Out of Ideas"

After Kevin Can Wait made headlines for killing off Erinn Hayes' character, Kevin James breaks his silence: "We were literally just running out of ideas"

By Tierney Bricker Oct 16, 2017 11:23 PMTags

Points for brutal honesty?

Kevin Can Wait made headlines this summer when it was revealed Erinn Hayes, who played Kevin James' on-screen wife in season one, would be leaving the show, with Leah Remini set to join season two as a regular. And the CBS sitcom continued to make headlines when it was revealed Hayes' character, Donna, would be killed off the show. 

In the season two premiere, Kevin Can Wait picked up over a year after Donna' death, with no mention of how she passed away. And now, Kevin James is breaking his silence on the death of Donna and why it needed to happen. Spoiler alert: they didn't have enough stories to tell about a retired cop. 

TV's Most Shocking Exits: Stars Who Left Hit Shows

"It really felt like this was needed for this show to drive forward," James told The NY Daily News. "The [premise] of the show didn't have enough drive."

Of the response to the decision to kill off the character, James admitted, "I get that people are like 'Whoa, why would you do this?'"


But James said it had to be done, as "the plot of the show didn't have enough drive." Initially, the show was supposed to star James as a single father, and by the end of season one, producers realized they needed to make a change if they wanted the sitcom to run for multiples seasons. 

"If we got through a second season, I wouldn't see us getting through a third one," James said. "We were literally just running out of ideas."

As for Remini, his former King of Queens co-star who guest-starred as Kevin's ex-partner in season one, the decision to invite her back as a series regular was an easy one after seeing the fan response, according to James.

"When she came was just the greatest," he gushed. "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?'"

Kevin Can Wait airs Mondays on CBS.