Last night, the viewers of CBS’ Kevin Can Wait finally got to see how the show killed off Kevin James’ TV wife Donna (played by Erinn Hayes). If you thought that killing off a character so that Leah Remini could swoop in and recreate the chemistry of The King of Queens was cold, put on a warm jacket. Because the season premiere of Kevin Can Wait dropped it a few degrees below freezing.
Erinn Hayes was fired from the show, and it was revealed the show would address her death with a time-jump forward in the second season. E! News notes that the show began with Kevin’s character Kevin looking at the mail and finding a letter addressed to his wife from her gym that read: “We haven’t seen you, we miss you.” Kevin replies, “You know what, so do I.” His daughter Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) grabs the letter and says, “It’s been over a year since she died, they shouldn’t still be sending this.” Then Kevin makes a joke about not throwing it out, because…he wants to save the coupon attached for a kung fu lesson. Yeah, save that coupon, Kevin. You’re going to want to have some kind of self-defense skills to protect you from Donna’s ghost after she catches wind of how sloppily she was written out.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) September 26, 2017
They cover Donna’s death again briefly towards the end of the episode when Kendra gets married with a simple “I miss mom,” but that’s it. No explanation of how she went, or what kind of sandwiches they served at the memorial. I bet if you ask Erinn Hayes what happened, she would address her exit in an equally unceremonious way. “Look, all you need to know is that I’m done with that shit. The end, case closed.”