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Bryan Cranston couldn't wait to hire Erinn Hayes after 'Kevin Can Wait' killed off her character

Will Lerner
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

One of the more peculiar entertainment stories of 2017 was the news that Kevin James’s CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait was going to remove cast member Erinn Hayes ahead of its second season. Hayes’s character was killed off and was, for all intents and purposes, replaced by James’s former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini.

James later explained that the “show needed a little emotional weight to drive [his] character.” Hayes, meanwhile, spoke most loudly through some very noticeable likes on social media. Among the people who were paying attention to the news was Bryan Cranston.

As he was getting ready to say goodbye to his celebrated Breaking Bad character, Walter White, in 2013, Cranston signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television. Two of the shows he developed, Sneaky Pete and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, have found a home on Amazon Prime, and a third joins their ranks today — The Dangerous Book for Boys. Hayes was one of the first people Cranston reached out to to join his family-friendly fare.

Erinn Hayes joined the cast of The Dangerous Book for Boys shortly after her odd departure from Kevin Can Wait in 2017. (Photo: Giovanni Rufino/Amazon/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

“I think, truly, it was a day or two after I heard [she was leaving Kevin Can Wait] I sent her a personal note,” Cranston tells Yahoo Entertainment. “[I said], ‘Take a look, read this. It’s a beautiful piece.’ It’s for families, and I know she’s a mom in real life. ‘I think you’ll just kill this.’ And she read it and she really liked it and we talked. It was probably the easiest casting that we had.

“We were thinking of the right sensibility of the mom,” Cranston continues. “She has to be a good actor, she has to have comic timing but have the deep well of emotions that this character needed. She is the glue that holds this family together. She’s the emotional center.”

The Dangerous Book for Boys is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Bryan Cranston chatted with Yahoo Entertainment about his sci-fi anthology series, Electric Dreams:

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