Kevin James and Leah Remini played husband and wife for nearly 10 years on “King of Queens” until it went off the air in 2007.
But when James’s new show, “Kevin Can Wait,” aired, fans were willing to let the past stay in the past — that is, until Remini appeared during a two-episode cameo in the first season.
Fans couldn’t get enough of the two former on-screen spouses together again, and they wanted more — in fact, they wanted a whole entire show’s worth of them.
It wasn’t long before producers of “Kevin Can Wait” listened and decided to bring Remini back. In order to do so, however, they needed to write out James’s character’s wife in the first season, played by Erinn Hayes.
According to People magazine, CBS President Kelly Kahl assured fans she would be sent off in good taste, saying:
“It will be treated with dignity and respect, something that will have taken place in the past.”
However, after watching it play out during Monday night’s season two premiere, fans are calling it anything but respectful. The show reportedly dealt with the character’s death by dedicating 20 seconds to it “with a postcard from Donna’s gym and a kung fu joke,” according to People. There were no respects paid and no explanation of how she passed.
People quickly took to Twitter to express their outrage:
— Eli Falcon (@EliJfalcon) September 26, 2017
#KevinCanWait very disappointed they got rid of Donna… I thought that she made the show. Not watching the show anymore..
— Becky Engle (@beckykeener47) September 26, 2017
WTF Kevin Can Wait, you KILLED OFF THE MOM WITHOUT TELLING US!?
— Chad Michael Ryan (@CMichaelRyan) September 26, 2017
— Alyce Weikel (@AlyceWeikel) September 26, 2017
— Kelena Sothersby (@Tua_motu) September 26, 2017
Though people do still seem to be thrilled about the reunion of James and Remini on TV, it’s clear they weren’t OK with the show’s blasé attitude toward another very appreciated character.