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Kevin James Explains Why Erinn Hayes Was Killed Off His Show

Fans were outraged at the way Kevin Can Wait dealt with the firing of Erinn Hayes and the way her character’s death was mentioned on the show and now the show’s star Kevin James is speaking out.

“I get that people are like ‘Whoa, why would you do this?’ But it really felt like a thing like this was needed for this show to drive forward,” Kevin said in a new interview with New York Daily News.

The 52-year-old actor says that killing off the character was a way to move the plot of the show and open it up to new story possibilities.

“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,” he said.

“The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive,” Kevin added. “If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. We were literally just running out of ideas.”

Here’s how the death of the show’s matriarch was handled on the season two premiere.

'Kevin Can Wait' Death: Here's How Erinn Hayes Was Killed Off

Erinn Hayes was fired from her role as the female lead on Kevin Can Wait following the end of season one and her character’s death was addressed in the season two premiere.

At the beginning of the episode, viewers found out that Donna died over a year ago after Kevin James‘ self-titled character finds a piece of mail addressed to her.

“We haven’t seen you, we miss you,” a postcard from Donna’s gym read. After reading the note, Kevin added, “You know what, so do I.”

Taylor Spreitler, who plays the daughter of Kevin and Donna, took the postcard and said, “I will call them right now. It’s been over a year since she died, they shouldn’t still be sending this.”

Kevin then makes a joke to note throw out the postcard because there’s a coupon on it that he wants to use.

Viewers were shocked out how the show barely even took a minute to address the death of the show’s female lead. Erinn has been replaced on the show by Kevin‘s former The King of Queens co-star Leah Remini.

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Erinn Hayes Wants a Role on 'This Is Us' After Getting Killed Off 'Kevin Can Wait'

Erinn Hayes wants to play Mandy Moore‘s sister on NBC’s This Is Us, and honestly, we could totally see it.

The 41-year-old actress made the revelation after CBS decided to kill off her Kevin Can Wait character ahead of season 2 to make room Leah Remini‘s character.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Erinn Hayes

“Last I checked, @TheMandyMoore had a sister on @NBCThisisUs,” one fan tweeted Erinn. “If she hasn’t been cast yet, I nominate @hayeslady for the role.”

Erinn retweeted the comment and replied, “I wouldn’t fight that. We actually played sisters back on the day for a never seen pilot.”

Erinn Hayes' 'Kevin Can Wait' Character to Be Killed Off for Leah Remini

This summer, CBS made the decision to not bring back Erinn Hayes‘ character on the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait, and instead, decided to bring in Kevin James‘ former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini.

Now it has been revealed that the character will be killed off and there will be a time jump to make sense of bringing in Leah‘s character.

“The character will have passed away and we will be moving forward in time catching up at a later date,” CBS’ Thom Sherman said at the TCA.

One reporter asked if Kevin Can Wait is going to become King of Queens, Thom responded, “No, I don’t think so. I think the show speaks for itself and stands for itself. Obviously the chemistry between Kevin and Leah was amazing in the stunt episode we did at the end of last season, and we decided we want to continue that.”

'Kevin Can Wait': Erinn Hayes Responds to Leaving Show Ahead of Season Two

One day after CBS’ Kevin Can Wait signed on King Of QueensLeah Remini as a series regular, Erinn Hayes has announced that she will not be coming back for season two.

“True, I’ve been let go from the show,” Erinn tweeted on Saturday (June 3). “Very sad, I had a great experience season 1. Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”

Erinn played Kevin James‘ on-screen wife, Donna, in the sitcom.

In the season finale, Donna quit her job, leaving both herself and James without work – just as Leah‘s character was introduced – so it appears that the show is heading in a new creative direction.

Kevin Can Wait ranked as this past season’s No. 1 new comedy in total viewers. (via Deadline)

Don’t miss season two when it premieres on September 25 on CBS!