Monday, June 17, 2024

Sting of Queens: Leah Remini’s Good Fortune with “Kevin Can Wait” Is Miserable for Actress Erinn Hayes, Fired from Show and Character Killed Off


This is really an odd twist. Leah Remini– doing a great job with her anti-Scientology series “Aftermath”– is the cause of real misery for another actress, Erinn Hayes.

Hayes was signed to the CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait,” starring Kevin James. They did one season together, it was a hit, and Hayes should have looked forward to several more.

Instead, she’s out as James’s wife on the sitcom. Now CBS execs say when the series returns, there will be a time jump, and Hayes’s character will have died. In the interim James will have found love with Remini’s character, who was introduced at the end of last season as a guest star.

Remini, of course, co-starred with James for nine seasons on “King of Queens.”

So basically, Kevin can’t wait. The chemistry with Remini was just like old times. So Hayes gets the heave-ho.

How will they explain the sudden death of a beautiful young woman? Was she dressed like a peanut in a parade and shelled by an elephant? That’s what happened to Chuckles the Clown? Killed in a terrorist attack? Run over? Dead from a fast moving disease?

There’s something really unpalatable about all this. Hayes is 41 has been working steadily in TV for almost two decades. A series deal is a nice pay off for hard work in an iffy career. I don’t know her and I don’t watch the show, but I feel bad for her. And it makes me a little queasy about Remini, who’s basically taken a job from another actress. This is especially bad at CBS where no actress heads up any of their prime time shows. Was Hayes so interchangeable?

Ironically, the name of the two part episode in which Remini co-starred was called “Sting of Queens.” And this really does sting.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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