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There’s another change at Kevin Can Wait.
One day after news that Leah Remini has joined the CBS sitcom full time comes word that leading lady Erinn Hayes will not be returning for season two.
“True, I’ve been let go from the show. Very sad, I had a great experience season 1,” she wrote Saturday on Twitter. “Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”
The exit is surprising, given Hayes played James’ wife on the half-hour. However, the season finale hinted at a shake-up to the show’s format when Hayes’ character quit her job, leaving both her and her retired police-officer husband (James) out of work.
The two-part season finale also introduced Remini’s character, a tough, wisecracking police officer who used to work with James’ character on the force. CBS announced Friday that Remini would return as a series regular for season two, which is set to premiere Sept. 25.
Hayes’ exit comes as the show heads in a different creative direction.
This is the latest shake-up on Kevin Can Wait. The series, which marks James’ first since The King of Queens ended its nine-season run in 2007, saw a showrunner change in season one when Cheers vet Rob Long replaced Bruce Helford (Anger Management).
Although the series ranked as this year’s top first-year comedy, Kevin Can Wait is also one of CBS’ few co-productions — hailing originally from Sony Pictures Television, where James has a lucrative overall deal. He executive produces the series with Long, Rock Reuben, Jeff Sussman, Andy Fickman and Tony Sheehan.
For Hayes, Kevin Can Wait followed a seven-season run on the cult favorite Childrens Hospital, which earned her an Emmy nomination. Her other credits include Parenthood, Parks and Recreation and The Hotwives of Las Vegas.
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