It’s tragic enough that the wife on Kevin Can Wait had to meet her demise on uncertain terms so that Kevin James could be reunited with his King of Queens co-star Leah Remini. What exacerbates this TV death further is that we must relive it over and over because of how the show handled it.
After CBS announced that they’d be killing off Kevin’s on-screen wife Donna Gable (played by Erinn Hayes), viewers waited to see how exactly she would perish and were even promised that the decision to send the character to an early grave was done so “out of respect.”
And yet, when season 2 premiered in September, viewers who choose to watch this show did NOT find out how Donna died, and the episode spent but a few seconds explaining her passing.
Again we ask, why did they do it in this way?
In an interview with the NY Daily News, Kevin James stated the obvious, echoing a producer’s previous statement—the show ran out of ideas and felt it was reasonable to let Donna be taken into eternal darkness due to unforeseen circumstances.
“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,” James told the Daily News. “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.” James added, “The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive. 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.”
Cause of death: an absence of creativity. Writing for television is tough.
What this means is you should stop WAIT-ing. You may never find out how Donna died:
James said he’s unsure if the show will address Donna’s death further, considering it’s meant to be a lighthearted sitcom. So far, the series has mostly sidestepped her absence. In the first episode, James’ character received a letter from her gym saying they’ve missed her.
“So do I,” he says.