Over the weekend, CBS announced it had canceled Kevin James’ sitcom, Kevin Can Wait, after two seasons. The decision was met with disappointment from both fans and cast members alike. But according to executives at the TV network, the show may have been doomed ever since it made the controversial decision to kill off Erinn Hayes’ character, Donna.
Deadline reports that CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said “the numbers” were the main reason behind canceling Kevin Can Wait, because the ratings were going down. “It was a strong show for us, it’s had a lot of decline this year, it was heading in the wrong direction,” she said. “The numbers were going down as the year went on and looking forward, it didn’t look like a show that was going to be strong enough to anchor a night for us going forward.”
And though they didn’t talk about Donna’s character by name, an exec did talk about a creative decision alienating fans. “The show made a choice at the beginning of this year, we agreed to go along with it, and unfortunately the audience did not respond to it,” CBS executive vice president Thom Sherman said.
The show ended up adding James’ King of Queens costar Leah Remini to the cast; she played a fellow police officer in the first season and became a series regular in the second. The two characters didn’t have a romantic relationship, but instead were friends and colleagues.
The producers of the show said they killed off Donna “out of respect” for the character, and how Erinn Hayes portrayed her. But ultimately they said they had run out of ideas, and wanted to create new obstacles for Kevin as a single father.
“The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive,” James told the New York Daily News. “If we got through a second season, I wouldn’t see us getting through a third one. [We] were literally running out of ideas.”
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