Earlier this summer, actress Erinn Hayes was fired from CBS sitcom "Kevin Can Wait" after star Kevin James's former "King of Queens" costar, Leah Remini, joined the cast for its upcoming second season. Now, one of the show's producers is defending that turn of events, as well as the shocking decision to have Hayes's character, Donna, killed off, rather than just written out of the show.
In an interview with TVLine, "Kevin" executive producer Rob Long explained that killing off Donna was meant as a show of respect to Hayes, who played the titular character's wife. According to Long, Donna's death will drive the plot for season two of the sitcom, and there way no way around that sad storyline with the new vision for the show.
"The goal was to give Kevin's character a real drive and a real predicament [involving] how a family comes back together [after tragedy]," Long told TVLine. "Also, out of respect for the character of Donna — and certainly the way that Erinn Hayes portrayed her — it seemed like the only right and fair way to treat her character."
We're not entirely sure Hayes would agree with calling the situation "right" or "fair." But the actress has so far stayed relatively mum on the subject, tweeting her thanks to fans for their support back in June. She's since booked the lead on an upcoming Amazon series, "The Dangerous Book for Boys."
CBS execs confirmed Donna's upcoming demise during a panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour earlier this month, noting that the event would be handled "with dignity and respect." Season two of "Kevin Can Wait" debuts on September 25.