Why 'Kevin Can Wait' Was Canceled

In one of the biggest cancellation bombs of the season, CBS announced Saturday that Kevin Can Wait officially got the axe. Now, a CBS boss says the numbers are to blame for the decision to pull the Kevin James sitcom from the airwaves.

When CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl was asked about the basis for the Kevin Can Wait cancellation, she said, "The numbers."

“It was a strong show for us, it’s had a lot of decline this year, it was heading in the wrong direction. The numbers were going down as the year went on and looking forward, it didn’t look like a show that was going to be strong enough to anchor a night for us going forward," Kahl told Deadline.

Many wondered if the decline in ratings had to do with the controversial casting changes after season 1, when the show killed off Erinn Hayes' character and brought on James' The King of Queens co-star Leah Remini.

“The show made a choice at the beginning of this year, we agreed to go along with it, and unfortunately the audience did not respond to it,” CBS EVP Thom Sherman said of the casting change.

Fans frequently complained on social media about Hayes' sudden departure and ratings took a nosedive. The show also lost co-creator and showrunner Bruce Helford in the middle of season 2 when he jumped ship to join ABC's Roseanne revival, having worked on the original series as an executive producer.

Kevin Can Wait starred James as Kevin Gable, a newly-retired police officer who decides to start a new career with the support of his wife Donna (Hayes) and their three children, Kendra (Taylor Spreitler), Sara (Mary-Charles Jones) and Jack (James DiGiacomo). The dynamic of the series changed significantly after Donna's death, as Kevin was now a single dad. Remini co-starred as Vanessa, Kevin's business partner, in season 2.

The series was produced with Sony TV, likely one of the reasons for canceling the show as networks have been prioritizing more in-house shows for next season. Man With A Plan, which stars Matt LeBlanc, is wholly-produced by CBS TV, which gave it a leg-up on being renewed.


Hayes has not made any sort of statement following the news of the cancellation. Remini wrote on Twitter Saturday that working on the show was a "godsend" and thanked the cast and crew of the show.

"Thank you to the amazing cast, crew, producers, and the writers of [Kevin Can Wait]. You accepted me with open arms. For me to get to work with [Kevin James] again day in and day out was a Godsend. I will miss you all so much," she wrote.