September 1, 1998 - May 14, 2007
(Doug Heffernan), Leah Remini (Carrie Heffernan), Jerry Stiller (Arthur Spooner), Victor Williams (Deacon Palmer), Patton Oswalt
(Spence Olchin), Nicole Sullivan (Holly Shumpert), Gary Valentine (Danny Heffernan)
The King of Queens was a traditional, three-camera sitcom that ran for nine seasons on CBS. A spin-off of another successful CBS show, Everybody Loves Raymond, the series followed the lives of Doug and Carrie Heffernan, a working-class couple living in New York. Though most of the humor in the show sprang from James' comic persona - a soft-hearted-but-macho blue-collar guy with a propensity to overeat - there was an attempt to treat the Heffernans' marriage realistically while still mining it for laughs. It presented a couple that was believably in love, and offered more than the average "battle of the sexes" sitcom.
Besides relationship issues, a number of episodes were based around Doug and Carrie's financial situation or work concerns. Doug and his best friend Deacon worked as drivers for IPS, a package delivery service modeled after UPS. Carrie was employed as a secretary, but was promoted and changed jobs as the show progressed. Also living with the Heffernans was Arthur Spooner, Carrie's eccentric father, who resided in the basement (a plot device that inspired a number of the show's jokes). Jerry Stiller's characterization of Arthur and unusual line readings were high points of the show.
Unlike some other popular sitcoms of the '90s, King of Queens was rarely self-referential; characters didn't usually discuss events from past episodes the way they did on Seinfeld or Friends. While that made the show more accessible to new viewers (who didn't need to be caught up to speed and could jump in at any point), it deprived the series of some character development and forward momentum. When it ended, it was in many ways the same show as when it began. That says a lot for its consistency, but little for its growth.
Where to Find It:
All nine seasons of the show have been released on DVD by Sony Home Entertainment. Most of the season-length box sets feature only the episodes, with little to no extra content. The show can also be seen in syndication.
Awards and Recognition:
- Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Kevin James (2006)
- Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Victor Williams (2007)
- People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite TV Comedy (2007 and 2008)