Erinn Hayes, who played the wife of Kevin James’ character on “Kevin Can Wait” until her character was killed off between seasons, has been liking tweets from fans expressing their displeasure about her exit from the CBS show.
The actress, 41, who has worked steadily on-screen since 1999 and starred in series including NBC’s “Guys with Kids” and Hulu’s “The Hotwives of Las Vegas,” has liked over 110 fan tweets since “Kevin Can Wait” returned for season 2 on Sept. 25. Yet while only about a half-dozen fans vowed to quit watching the show, high-profile outlets on Wednesday, including Us Weekly and People, began using the word “boycott” in headlines. That word never appears in any tweet, nor does any suggestion of a boycott campaign.
“My family and I have tuned out,” wrote one Twitter user who received a like from the 41-year-old actress. “If Kevin Can Wait, so can we – for you to have a bigger career than him!!!”
Hayes had posted on Sept. 30 that she has “enjoyed the support of all the fans that have reached out to say something positive. But please can we stop the personal attacks on @LeahRemini in my name? It’s ugly, I never asked for it and let’s be above it.”
Representatives for CBS, Hayes and the Mineola-born, Stony Brook-raised James did not respond to Newsday requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Leah Remini, who replaced Hayes as co-star, playing a different character, said the actress had no comment at this time.
On the show, filmed at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, Hayes played Donna Gable, the wife of retired cop and Massapequa resident Kevin Gable. After Remini, James’ former co-star on “The King of Queens,” guest-starred on the two-part season 1 finale, the show’s producers hired her as a series regular and dropped Hayes, with the explanation that Donna had died. In a scene of under two minutes on the season 2 premiere, Kevin becomes briefly grief-stricken after receiving a flyer from Donna’s gym and we learn she died “over a year” ago. No further details were given.
In an interview last weekend, James told the New York Daily News that the sitcom’s change in direction occurred because “The plot of the show didn’t have enough drive.”
After news of the cast change broke in June, Hayes tweeted, “True, I’ve been let go from the show. Very sad, I had a great experience season 1. Thank you for all the support from our wonderful fans.”
The following month she became the female lead of the upcoming Amazon comedy series “The Dangerous Book for Boys,” and in September was cast to star opposite Ron Livingston and Nathalie Emmanuel in the independent feature “Holly Slept Over.”