When the Kevin James-starring CBS sitcom Kevin Can
What makes news of Hayes' departure so interesting is that it comes less than a day after the announcement that Leah Remini will be joining the show as a series regular, an upgrade from last season's well-received featured guest spot.
Remini and James formerly starred alongside one another in the sitcom King of Queens, the successful series that made James a household name.
Another unknown factor in the recent deal is how the show will address Hayes' character Donna's departure, or if she'll return at all for any final scenes.
When the first season ended, James' character temporarily rejoined the police force for an undercover mission alongside Remini's character. Once the former partners closed their case, James' character learned that Donna had quit her job after being passed up for a promotion, while she also made it clear that she wouldn't be returning to work full-time.
King of Queens aired on CBS for nine successful seasons, marking the beginning of James' Hollywood domination. Thanks to working with frequent collaborator Adam Sandler, James proved himself to be a major box office success with films like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
James' on-screen counterpart, however, didn't find quite the same amount of success in her post-King of Queens career, as Remini joined The Talk and focused instead on trying to take down the Church of Scientology following a very public falling out.
Recently, Remini wrote a memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, which was followed by a documentary mini-series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which drew many criticisms from many members of the religion.
Kevin James fans were satiated with his return to the small screen, as Kevin Can Wait became the most-watched new sitcom of the season. The show also aired in the same exact time slot as King of Queens, which makes Remini's return as a regular character feel even more familiar.
[H/T TV Line]