Sources say it was a matter of the show going in a different creative direction, and not a reflection of the actress’ performance. The series stars James as a New York cop who retires after 20 years on the force, only to discover retirement is not as easy as he thought it would be.
Hayes confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “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.”
It was recently announced that Leah Remini was joining the cast for season 2 as a series regular. Remini previously appeared in the Season 1 finale as Vanessa Cellucci, an undercover cop and the former partner of James’ character. She will reprise that role for the show’s second season, which will premiere in September. James and Remini previously starred together as husband and wife for nine seasons on the hit series “The King of Queens,” which also aired on CBS.
The sitcom also stars Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones, James DiGiacomo, Ryan Cartwright, Lenny Venito, Gary Valentine, and Leonard Earl Howze. James, Rock Reuben, Rob Long, Jeff Sussman, Andy Fickman, Tony Sheehan, and Steve Mosko are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television.
“Kevin Can Wait” ranked as one of the top new shows of the 2016-17 season, averaging a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers in Live+Same Day Nielsen ratings. In Live+7, the series averaged a 2.2 and 9.2 million viewers per episode.
News of her departure was first reported by TVLine.