The King of Queens
King of Queens logo.png
GenreSitcom
Created by
Directed byRob Schiller
Starring
Opening theme"Baby All My Life I Will Be Driving Home to You" by Billy Vera and the Beaters (season 2–9)
Ending theme"Baby All My Life I Will Be Driving Home to You" (instrumental) (season 2)
ComposersAndrew Gross (seasons 1–2)
Jonathan Wolff
Rich Ragsdale
Kurt Farquhar (2000–2007)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes207 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Annette Sahakian Davis
  • Jim Kukucka
CinematographyWayne Kennan
Lennie T. Evans
Jim Roberson
EditorJohn Doutt
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time21–22 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture format
Audio formatDolby Surround 2.0
Original releaseSeptember 21, 1998 (1998-09-21) –
May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)

The King of Queens is an American television sitcom that ran on CBS from September 21, 1998, to May 14, 2007, a total of nine seasons and 207 episodes. The series was created by Michael J. Weithorn and David Litt, who also served as the show's executive producer, and stars Kevin James and Leah Remini as Doug and Carrie Heffernan, a working-class couple living in Rego Park, Queens, New York City. All the episodes were filmed in front of a live studio audience.[1][2]

The King of Queens was produced by Hanley Productions and CBS Productions (1998–2007), CBS Paramount Network Television (2007), in association with Columbia TriStar Television (1998–2002), and Sony Pictures Television (2002–07). It was filmed at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

The ninth and final season concluded with a double-length finale episode in 2007. In May 2017, Kevin James and Leah Remini reunited in the 2016 television sitcom Kevin Can Wait,[3] which ended on May 7, 2018.[4]

Plot

The show exhibits undertones of the original 1950s TV production The Honeymooners, starring Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows. Doug (Kevin James) and Carrie Heffernan (Leah Remini) are a working-class couple living at "3121 Aberdeen Street" in Rego Park, Queens, New York,[5][6] along with Carrie's father, Arthur Spooner (Jerry Stiller).[7] Doug works for the fictional International Parcel Service (IPS) as a delivery driver, while Carrie works as a secretary in Manhattan, first for a law firm and later for a real estate firm. Their lives are plagued by the demands of Arthur; so much so that they eventually hire Holly, a professional dog walker, to spend time with him as she walks dogs in the park. Doug Heffernan represents the "everyman" with his love of sports, TV, junk food, and his wife[citation needed]. His constant deceit and schemes through various situations leave him humiliated as his plans backfire.

Also featured on the show are Doug's friends Deacon Palmer (Victor Williams), Spence Olchin (Patton Oswalt), and Richie Iannucci (Larry Romano), as well as Doug's cousin Danny Heffernan (played by James' real-life brother Gary Valentine). Deacon's wife Kelly (Merrin Dungey) is Carrie's best friend, having met through the relationship her husband has with Deacon Palmer.

Most scenes take place in the Heffernans' home, but other common locations include Doug and Carrie's workplaces, the restaurant "Cooper's Ale House", and the residences of friends and family. While locations seen during the opening montage were filmed in areas around New York, the series was filmed in California.[8]

The series begins after Doug and Carrie have been married for 3 years, and how they met is somewhat unclear due to continuity issues. In one flashback episode, "Meet By-Product", Doug meets Carrie while he is a bouncer at a nightclub that Carrie attends. However, in another episode, "Road Rayge", Carrie reflects on a song that she says Doug asked her to dance to when they were in junior high school.[9]

Characters

Main

Main cast of The King of Queens
Main cast of The King of Queens

Recurring

Series background

Centered on the lives of blue-collar, DINK couple Doug and Carrie Heffernan, The King of Queens debuted on CBS on September 21, 1998. During its run, it brought in solid ratings (usually ranking in the Top 40, and peaking at #19 in its fourth season) for the most part and was a Monday night staple, competing with shows such as the long-running drama 7th Heaven. In 2003, when moved to Wednesday and scheduled against The West Wing and Nanny 911, it began to drop in the ratings. The final episode aired on May 14, 2007. The series was shot at Sony Pictures Studios' Stage 28 in Culver City, California.[10] The character of Arthur was conceived with Jerry Stiller in mind, but he initially turned down the role. Veteran comedian Jack Carter was then cast and a pilot was shot. Soon afterward, Stiller changed his mind and took the part, which required re-shooting of scenes featuring Carter.[11]

The King of Queens was partly inspired by the classic television sitcom The Honeymooners, the characters of Doug and Carrie being loosely based on the Kramden couple, with some similar mannerisms and deadpan expressions. In the 2001 episode "Inner Tube", the show pays homage to The Honeymooners as a distraught Doug dreams that he is Ralph Kramden, Carrie is Alice Kramden, and Deacon is Ed Norton. The sequence was filmed in black and white, and the audio quality (including audience reactions) matches a 1950s style.[12]

Theme song and opening sequences

The season one main opening was a simple eight-second sequence which showed the window of a subway train moving past and then quickly stopping at the original show logo, which then peeled off to reveal the names of the show's creators.

Starting with season two, the show added a new theme song called "Baby All My Life I Will Be Driving Home to You", which was written by series writers Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, composed by Jonathan Wolff and Scott Clausen, and performed by Billy Vera and the Beaters. An instrumental version was used as the closing theme during season two, but was replaced in season three with a new closing theme composed by Kurt Farquhar.

The opening credits from seasons two through nine featured an opening shot of Doug climbing aboard an IPS truck, which then cuts to a long shot of his truck driving past the 111th Street elevated subway station, where the show's logo is digitally placed on the exterior. It then cuts to scenes of Doug, Carrie, and Arthur spending time around Queens, including local landmarks such as the Unisphere and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. In the season two sequence, Kevin James' starring credit was placed over a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline, but was edited after the September 11 attacks that felled the World Trade Center. Two short versions of the sequence exist: in original airings where the opening was shortened due to time constraints, and in some syndicated airings the opening featured the shot of the IPS truck going under the bridge, then to the final shot of the credits where Doug and Carrie get ices at the Lemon Ice King of Corona on 108th St in Queens. The second version used in U.S. syndicated airings since 2007 simply features the first eight seconds of the full sequence with the opening establishing shots of Queens placed before the truck scene. In syndicated airings of season one episodes that have aired in the U.S. since the fall of 2007, this version replaced the standard season one sequence in all episodes for unknown reasons.

Episodes

Main article: List of The King of Queens episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankViewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
125September 21, 1998 (1998-09-21)May 17, 1999 (1999-05-17)3512.5
225September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20)May 22, 2000 (2000-05-22)3412.7[13]
325October 2, 2000 (2000-10-02)May 28, 2001 (2001-05-28)2713.4[14]
425September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24)May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)1913.9[15]
525September 23, 2002 (2002-09-23)May 19, 2003 (2003-05-19)2513.0 [16]
624October 1, 2003 (2003-10-01)May 19, 2004 (2004-05-19)3011.1[17]
722October 27, 2004 (2004-10-27)May 18, 2005 (2005-05-18)489.8[18]
823September 19, 2005 (2005-09-19)May 22, 2006 (2006-05-22)4910.0[19]
913December 6, 2006 (2006-12-06)May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)3011.4[20]

Reception

Critical response

Maryann Johnson of Flick Filospher critiqued, "Obvious and distasteful, The King of Queens relies too heavily on class and gender stereotypes to elicit laughs in the same way that one pulls teeth". Clint Morris of FilmThreat lauded the series, praising star Kevin James as "one of the funniest guys to grace the TV tube since Bill Cosby".[21] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the series has a score of 55 out of 100 based on the reviews of 26 critics, indicating "generally mixed reviews".[22]

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

In 2006, Kevin James received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of Doug Heffernan.

TV Season Award Category Nominee Episode Status Result
2005–2006 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Kevin James "Pole Lox" Nominated Tony Shalhoub won the award for Monk.

BMI Awards

The King of Queens received BMI Awards in the TV Music category in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. These awards were presented to Kurt Farquhar, Josh Goldsmith, Andrew Gross, and Cathy Yuspa.

Nominations

During its final two seasons, The King of Queens was nominated in the People's Choice Awards' Favorite TV Comedy category for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2004, Scott Heineman and Mark Waters were nominated by the Art Directors' Guild for the Excellence in Production Design Award. Victor Williams was nominated in 2007 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series by the NAACP Image Awards.

Syndication

The show has been in syndication on over-the-air stations in the United States since the early 2000s, and is also a mainstay of cable syndication through the channels of Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) and A&E Networks, including Nick at Nite,[23] TV Land,[24] CMT, FYI, Lifetime, and A&E. It has also streamed on Peacock since the service's debut in the spring of 2020.[25] Previously, it aired on TBS from September 2006[26] until September 2019. The show has also been a success internationally, both in its original run and in syndication.

Home media

DVD Name Ep # Release Dates
Region 1 (US) Region 1 (CAN) Region 2 (UK) Region 2 (Germany) Region 4 (Australia)
The Complete First Season 25
(3 discs)
November 18, 2003 August 11, 2009 January 29, 2007 November 26, 2004 January 11, 2007
The Complete Second Season 25
(3 discs)
April 20, 2004 August 11, 2009 July 9, 2007 March 31, 2005 July 12, 2007
The Complete Third Season 25
(3 discs)
February 22, 2005 August 11, 2009 September 15, 2008 September 2, 2005 July 31, 2008
The Complete Fourth Season 25
(3 discs)
June 14, 2005 January 5, 2010 February 9, 2009 December 2, 2005 January 15, 2009
The Complete Fifth Season 25
(3 discs)
June 20, 2006 January 5, 2010 May 18, 2009 May 26, 2006 May 7, 2009
The Complete Sixth Season 24
(3 discs)
September 19, 2006 January 5, 2010 July 13, 2009 November 24, 2006 August 6, 2009[29]
The Complete Seventh Season 22
(3 discs)
January 16, 2007 November 9, 2010[30] March 22, 2010 March 9, 2007 April 1, 2010
The Complete Eighth Season 23
(3 discs)
May 1, 2007 November 9, 2010[31] June 21, 2010 August 24, 2007 June 3, 2010
The Complete Ninth Season 13
(2 discs)
September 25, 2007 November 9, 2010[32] September 20, 2010 October 19, 2007 September 16, 2010
The Complete Series Box Set 207
(27 discs)
November 6, 2007 TBA May 7, 2012 March 7, 2008[33] November 5, 2014

Blu-ray releases

Seasons two[34] and three[35] were released on Blu-ray disc by Koch Media on November 21, 2008. They are presented with 1080i/25fps VC-1 video, 2.0 DTS audio tracks in both English and German with German subtitles optional. They include the same extras as the DVD releases from Koch Media. Even though they are only released in Germany and Austria, they are not region locked.

On March 26, 2015, Koch Media released the whole series on Blu-ray in HD.[36] The complete box set is distributed for Region B/2.[37]

International versions/channels that aired the US version

The international rights are distributed by CBS Studios International and Sony Pictures Television.

Country/language Local title Channel Date aired/premiered End Date
 Russia Молодожёны
Newlyweds
СТС November 21, 2011 April 19, 2012

In the UK, the show aired on Channel 4.

Reunion

In March 2021, a reunion table read was hosted on Facebook in memory of Jerry Stiller. The reunion was held to benefit Henry Street Settlement, a New York City social services, health care, and arts organization where Stiller got his start in theater.

Series stars James, Remini, Williams, Oswalt, Valentine, Sullivan, and guest star Rachel Dratch all reprised their roles in the table read with Weithorn, reciting the 2003 episode "Cowardly Lyin'". The reunion was moderated by Sibley Scoles and also featured a video tribute to Stiller.

See also

References

  1. ^ "10 Fun Facts About the King of Queens". May 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "'The King of Queens'".
  3. ^ "Wow, So That's How Kevin Can Wait Killed Kevin's Wife". Vanity Fair. September 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (May 12, 2018). "Kevin Can Wait Cancelled at CBS After Polarizing Season 2 Shake-Up". TVLine. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "'The King of Queens'".
  6. ^ Lindsay (October 30, 2009). "The King of Queens House". IAMNOTASTALKER. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "King of Queens – The Complete Eighth Season". CBSStore.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  8. ^ "The King of Queens".
  9. ^ "10 Things That Make No Sense About King of Queens". Screen Rant. August 22, 2019.
  10. ^ "'King of Queens' cast prepares to say farewell". Today. Associated Press. April 8, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Ford Sullivan, Brian (November 20, 2006). "Interview: "The King of Queens" Executive Producer David Bickel". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Gray, Justin (June 19, 2013). "Kevin James, 'King of Queens', and Being Content With Where You Are". Splitsider.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Quotenmeter.de - Das Online-Fernsehmagazin (May 30, 2002). "US-Jahrescharts 1999/2000". Quotenmeter.de. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  14. ^ "The Bitter End". EW.com. June 1, 2001. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  15. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Nielsen's TOP 156 Shows for 2002-03 - rec.arts.tv | Google Groups". Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  17. ^ "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
  18. ^ "Primetime series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  20. ^ "Final Nielsen ratings for 2006-07 season". 606studios.com. May 25, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  21. ^ "The King of Queens (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "The King of Queens reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "Nickelodeon Welcomes The King Of Queens To Nick At Nite's Family Comedy Lineup, Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 1". NickPress. December 21, 2018. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  24. ^ TV Land (December 5, 2012). "The King of Queens: Watch Every Night on TV Land". YouTube. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  25. ^ "The King of Queens". Peacock. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  26. ^ TBS (September 29, 2006). "Breaking News - Hit Comedy the King of Queens Joins TBS's Line-Up". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  27. ^ "King Of Queens – Season 9 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Kevin James, Leah Remini, Victor L. Williams, Patton Oswalt, Nicole Sullivan: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  28. ^ "King of Queens, The – 9th Season (2 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. September 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  29. ^ [1][dead link]
  30. ^ "King of Queens S7: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. November 9, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  31. ^ "King of Queens S8: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. November 9, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  32. ^ "King of Queens S9: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. November 9, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  33. ^ "Koch Media Home Entertainment". Kochmedia-dvd.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  34. ^ "Season 2 Info". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  35. ^ "Season 3 Info". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  36. ^ "Complete Series Blu-Ray Info". kochmedia-film.de. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  37. ^ "Complete Series Blu-Ray on Amazon". amazon.de. Retrieved February 27, 2016.