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Kevin James Justifies Erinn Hayes’ Character’s Death on ‘Kevin Can Wait’: ‘We Were Running Out of Ideas’

The show may never reveal exactly what happened to Donna Gable.


Erinn Hayes, Kevin James


Kevin James spoke earlier this week about the reasons why Erinn Hayes’ character on “Kevin Can Wait,” wife Donna Gable, was written out of the CBS sitcom at the beginning of this season. What happened to Donna in the actual story, however, will apparently remain a mystery indefinitely.

According to James, speaking to the New York Daily News, the thought process behind Donna’s departure was to bring a new direction to the show, one that would allow for it to run for more seasons and be “lengthier.”

“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,” James said before he admitted they “were literally running out of ideas.”

James revealed that the original idea for his character was to be portrayed as a single father, but the producers of the show and himself later made the decision to add a wife character.

In the Season 2 premiere, we jump forward a year in the lives of the Gables, and Donna is only brought up after her family receives a letter from her gym saying that “they miss her,” to which James says “so do I” before cracking a joke about kung fu.

“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,” explained James.

James also mentioned to the Daily News that the show’s tone is lighthearted and that he was unsure if the show will explore her death any further. In June, CBS president Kelly Kahl said, “it will be treated with dignity and respect, as something that will have taken place in the past.”

“Kevin Can Wait” Season 2 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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