The King of Queens

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The King of Queens
King of Queens Logo.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Starring
Opening theme "Baby All My Life I Will Be Driving Home To You" by Billy Vera (1999–07)
Ending theme "Baby All My Life I Will Be Driving Home To You" (instrumental) (season 2)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 207 (List of episodes)
Production
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 21–22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format
Audio format Dolby Surround 2.0
Original run September 21, 1998 (1998-09-21) – May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14)
External links
Website

The King of Queens is an American sitcom that originally ran on CBS from September 21, 1998, to May 14, 2007. The show was produced by Hanley Productions and CBS Productions (1998–2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006–07), 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, USA.

After the series finale broadcast on May 14, 2007, The King of Queens became the last American live action sitcom that premiered in the 1990s to end its run.[1]

Plot[edit]

Doug and Carrie Heffernan are a working class couple living at "3121 Aberdeen Street" in Rego Park, Queens, New York[2] along with Carrie's eccentric father, Arthur Spooner.[3] 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 complicated 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.

Also featured on the show are Doug's friends Deacon Palmer, Spencer Olchin and Richie Iannucci, as well as Doug's cousin Danny Heffernan. Deacon's wife Kelly is Carrie's best friend.

Most scenes take place in the Heffernans' home, but other common locations include Doug and Carrie's workplaces, the restaurant "Cooper's" and the residences of friends and family. While locations seen during the theme-song were filmed in areas surrounding New York, the series was filmed in California.

The show begins after Doug and Carrie have already married, and how they met is slightly unclear due to continuity issues. In one flashback episode, Doug meets Carrie when 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. In a later episode, it was implied that they all went to high school together, as Kelly and Carrie were said to have slept with the same guy neither husband knew of until the day of the guy's wedding.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Doug Heffernan (played by Kevin James) is an average parcel delivery man with a smart-aleck nature. Doug never hesitates to protest his grievances intensely. Doug's birth date is February 9, 1965. He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Some of his misadventures are fueled by his love of food. These basic desires sometimes cause him to think of strange, intricate schemes in order to get what he wants, although they usually fall through in the end, causing constant squabbles between Doug and Carrie. Doug's tendency to give in to his temptations, despite promising Carrie otherwise, is another common cause of disagreements. He generally enjoys the simple pleasures of watching sports and playing poker with his friends.
  • Carrie Heffernan (played by Leah Remini) is Doug's saucy and sharp-tongued wife. She has a tough attitude and is occasionally physically abusive to Doug. She has been characterized as scary by Holly and Doug, particularly when she is upset. During a flashback, Carrie concludes that she is happier (she describes herself as never being truly happy) when others are miserable. She never finished college and is employed as a hard-working legal secretary. Her constant attempts to make her relationship with Doug more romantic and meaningful cause Doug frustration, as he prefers a simple life with as few restrictions as possible. The more perceptive and insightful of the couple, Carrie often pushes Doug to make more of himself and improve his morals, but she can be just as unscrupulous as he is. Although Carrie admonishes Doug for his inconsiderate behavior, she has proven herself to be even more inconsiderate at times, with little patience for others' problems or tolerance for their quirks. Many episodes have shown the couple trying to escape some socially unpleasant situation at Carrie's behest, resulting in her abandonment of Doug, who, being a pushover, is left to fend for himself. In one episode she leaves him lost in a forest to go have lunch, while on another occasion she leaves him at an old-fashioned bed and breakfast run by an eccentric couple while she checks into a nearby hotel and goes dancing. Carrie's best friend is Deacon's wife, Kelly Palmer.
  • Arthur Spooner (played by Jerry Stiller) is Carrie's widowed father, who has been married three times. His fourth marriage is to Spence's mother (played by Anne Meara, his real-life wife) during the final season. Arthur is the classic oddball of the family. He lives in the basement of the Heffernan house because he accidentally set fire to his own uninsured home, burning it to the ground in the pilot episode. Very volatile, Arthur is mostly known for his incoherent, irascible outbursts. He tells a lot of questionable stories of what he claims he's been through in his past. Arthur regularly causes chaos in the Heffernan household and gets on Doug's and Carrie's nerves. They sometimes have trouble finding time alone because Arthur tends to get in the way. Arthur also tries to cause trouble with Doug's friends. He especially picks on Spence but also (unsuccessfully) tries it on Deacon, who often refers to him as "the old man".
Main cast of The King of Queens
  • Sara Spooner (1998; played by Lisa Rieffel) is Carrie's younger half-sister, an irresponsible aspiring actress. She appears in only five of the first six episodes. She was only mentioned one other time (although not by name) in episode 52 {"Roast Chicken"} by Doug as an excuse to his boss to get out of performing a roast. After the show became more popular, Kevin James was asked to explain what happened to Sara during an interview. According to James, the producers could not think of any storylines to develop Rieffel's character, so she was discontinued. During the pilot she was on camera for roughly half the episode. However, in the other episodes in which she was included, her character did not have much to say or do. Subsequent dialogue suggests that Sara Spooner never existed, and that Carrie is an only child. (The disappearance of her character, coupled with the show's subsequent contention that the character never existed, is an example of the "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome".)
  • Deacon "Deac" John Palmer (played by Victor Williams) is Doug's best friend. Tall and athletic, Deacon is a year and a few weeks younger than Doug, but the more responsible of the two, in addition to being the classic "family man." Deacon and his wife Kelly have two sons, named Major and Kirby. He is often seen hanging out with Doug, whether it is on their lunch break, over the weekend, or for a family gathering. Although he often experiences relationship problems, Deacon always has time to chill out and have fun. He will often help Doug plan elaborate schemes to fool Carrie, but he rarely likes to get involved in the scheme himself. Deacon attended St. John's University in Queens, where he received two master's degrees, one in computer science and one in chemistry.[citation needed] In the first season episode "Best Man", Deacon mentions having served in the National Guard. He also volunteers as a big brother.
  • Spencer "Spence" Olchin (played by Patton Oswalt) is another friend of Doug's and the nerd of the group. He tends to be paranoid with fragile health and takes an interest in science fiction, fantasy movies, and comic book conventions—interests that his friends do not share. Spence's birthday is February 14. He is of Albanian heritage, and works as a subway token booth clerk. He moved to the New York area from rural West Virginia. In one episode, he is a "house boy" for Deacon and Kelly. His character is based largely on the actor who plays him, Patton Oswalt. Spence demonstrates intelligence and capability in a variety of pursuits, but he is haunted by his family history, his domineering and unstable mother, and his inability to assert himself. Numerous episodes mention that Spence is asthmatic (a burden he shares with Danny) and allergic to peanuts (however, in the episode "Richie's Song" he is seen eating Peanut M&M's out of Doug's vehicle). In the season eight episode "Hartford Wailer," Spence is said to be from Ottawa. In the series' penultimate episode, "Single Spaced," Spence becomes obsessed with romancing Carrie when it appears she and Doug will divorce.
  • Richard "Richie" Iannucci (1998–2001; played by Larry Romano) is one of Doug's closest friends. He and Doug were roommates before Doug married Carrie (shown in the episode "Meet By-Product"). He was quietly written out of the show in season three so Romano could work on another sitcom (Kristin). During that season, he only appeared in one episode, called "Paint Misbehavin". He mostly addressed Doug as "Moose." Richie was known as the ladies' man among Doug's friends, even admitting to sleeping with Doug's sister. Richie is an FDNY firefighter. He is also somewhat of a con artist. His last appearance on the show was in the episode "Paint Misbehavin", in which he has sex (offscreen) with Doug's sister Stephanie (Ricki Lake) and afterwards she promises to call him, although she has no intention to. He was also briefly seen in a few clips during the flashback montage at the end of the series finale.
  • Daniel "Danny" Heffernan (played by Gary Valentine) is Doug's cousin, and he is also seen hanging out with Doug, Spence, and Deacon. In the show's early seasons Doug has a negative view of Danny bordering on hate. However, as the show progresses, they become friends and co-workers and regularly hang out along with Deacon and Spence. Danny even becomes Spence's roommate in a small apartment. The two fight like a married couple, and many of the jokes revolve around what looks to their friends like a romantic relationship. At one point, they legally marry in order to get a free TV from a sales pitch for which only married couples are eligible. Danny also used to own a pizza place, and he is divorced from a woman named Eva. He once had the nickname "Stumpy," which was given to him by Doug. Episodes "Silent Mite" and "Paint Misbehavin'" reveal that Danny has asthma and uses an inhaler. Gary Valentine and Kevin James are brothers in real life. They both created last names for acting. Valentine is their father's middle name.
  • Holly Shumpert (2001–07; played by Nicole Sullivan) is a cheerful, yet insecure dog-walker who along with the Heffernans lives in Queens, where she was hired by Doug and Carrie to walk Arthur. She is often seen arriving at the Heffernan house to pick up Arthur but is also a family friend of the Heffernans. She is often viewed as strange because of her habits and the men she dates (not to mention her habit of overdrinking, to which she openly confesses). In one episode, Holly asks Carrie (referring to her inability to find a boyfriend), "What am I doing wrong? I give them money, I let them stay at my house." Holly is a gentle soul, however, especially as she puts up with Arthur's antics, and is kind to Carrie despite the fact that Carrie often mistreats her. Holly was written out of the series at the beginning of season eight, but she later returned, pregnant, for one last appearance in the series finale ("China Syndrome").

Recurring[edit]

  • Supervisor Patrick O'Boyle (played by Sam McMurray) is section supervisor for the fictional International Parcel Service. He is Doug's boss and friend throughout most of the show, whom he mostly refers to as "Heffernan". He is in most IPS scenes throughout the show. He is also a recovering alcoholic and gambling addict. A character named Supervisor Jack O'Boyle (played by John F. O'Donohue) appears in an episode from season one ("White Collar", 1999).
  • Kelly Palmer (1998–2001; 2003–07), Deacon's wife (played by Merrin Dungey) is Carrie's best friend. She has two children with Deacon. Kelly and Deacon experience some serious relationship problems, much more serious than the petty arguments between Doug and Carrie. On one occasion, Deacon mentions being hit in the head with a frying pan. She was absent from the show in 2002 because she needed to take a break from the series; during this period, her character was estranged from Deacon and engaged in a brief affair.
  • Lou Ferrigno (2000–07; himself) is the actor known for his role as The Incredible Hulk. Ferrigno and his wife are neighbors of the Heffernans. A running gag on the series is that the neighbors (including the Heffernans) are fascinated by him and it gets on his nerves. Lou does not like people telling him Hulk jokes. Other characters often make reference to his previous role as the Hulk. For example, at one point Doug is angry and Lou tries to calm him down; Doug retorts with the famous line from the Hulk series "Don't make me angry; you wouldn't like me when I am angry." Also, in the episode "Gym Neighbors," it is revealed that he has a secret video game addiction.

Minor[edit]

  • Stephanie Heffernan (Ricki Lake), Doug's sister
  • Veronica Olchin (Grace Zabriskie/Anne Meara), Spence's mother
  • Doug Pruzan (Alex Skuby), Carrie's former boss at Kaplan, Hornstein & Steckler
  • Joseph "Joe" Heffernan (Dakin Matthews), Doug's father
  • Janet Heffernan (Jenny O'Hara), Doug's mother
  • Carla Ferrigno (herself), Lou Ferrigno's wife (2000–07)
  • Denise Ruth Battaglia (Rachel Dratch), Spence's girlfriend
  • Mr. Kaplan (Victor Raider-Wexler), Carrie's boss (2001–03)
  • Mr. Kaufman (Victor Raider-Wexler), Carrie's boss (2006–07)
  • Kirby Palmer (Omari Lyles/Marshaun Daniel/Philip Daniel Bolden), Deacon and Kelly's oldest son
  • Major Palmer (Desmond Roberts/Austin Astrup), Deacon and Kelly's youngest son
  • Young Doug (Tyler Hendrickson)
  • Young Carrie (Madison Lanc)
  • Father McAndrew (Joe Flaherty), priest at the Heffernans' church
  • Tim Sacksky (Bryan Cranston), the Heffernans' neighbor
  • Dorothy Sacksky (Dee Dee Rescher), Heffernan neighbor
  • Mike Ross (Michael Lowry)
  • Debi Ross (Marcia Cross)
  • Mickey (Ford Rainey), a friend of Arthur's
  • Kim (Melissa Chan), Carrie's co-worker at Kaplan, Hornstein & Steckler
  • Amy (Christine Gonzales), Carrie's co-worker at Kaplan, Hornstein & Steckler
  • Dawn (Laura Silverman), Carrie's co-worker from the accounts department
  • George Barksdale (Gerry Black)
  • Stu (Gavin MacLeod), Doug's uncle and Danny's father
  • Trudy (Beecey Carlson), Danny's mother
  • Jimmy (Jimmy Shubert), Doug's co-worker at IPS
  • Duke (Steve Tancora), another of Doug's co-workers
  • Georgia Boone (Lisa Banes), Carrie's boss at the Dugan Group
  • Donna (Sandra Taylor), Richie's girlfriend
  • Supervisor Jack O'Boyle (John F. O'Donohue), Doug and Deacon's supervisor at IPS

Guest appearances[edit]

Show background[edit]

Based on the lives of blue-collar couple Doug and Carrie Heffernan, The King of Queens debuted on CBS on September 21, 1998. For most of its run it was a Monday night staple, competing with shows such as the long-running drama 7th Heaven. In 2003, when scheduled against The West Wing and Nanny 911, it dropped slightly in the ratings. The final episode aired on May 14, 2007.

According to the DVD commentary of the Pilot episode, 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 afterwards, Stiller changed his mind and took the part, which required reshooting of scenes featuring Carter.

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

The King of Queens was one of the first series to broadcast in 16:9 high-definition video, broadcasting in 1080i. At the time of the show's premiere, CBS had just regained broadcasting rights to the NFL, and was an early adopter of HDTV technology as a result, allowing The King of Queens to broadcast with the technology.

Theme song and opening sequences[edit]

The season one main opening was a simple eight-second sequence which showed the window of a subway train with moving through and 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 getting into an IPS truck, which then cuts to a long shot of a bridge, where he drives under a bridge onto which the show's logo is digitally placed, as if it's a street sign. It then cuts to scenes of Doug, Carrie and Arthur spending time around Queens. In the season two sequence, Kevin James' starring credit was placed over a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline, but was re-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.

Reception[edit]

U.S. television ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 8:30/7:30c (September 21, 1998 – May 17, 1999) September 21, 1998 May 17, 1999 1998–1999 #35 12.5[4]
2 Monday 8:00/7:00c (September 20, 1999 – May 19, 2003) September 20, 1999 May 22, 2000 1999–2000 #34 12.7[5]
3 October 2, 2000 May 28, 2001 2000–2001 #26 13.4[6]
4 September 24, 2001 May 20, 2002 2001–2002 #21 13.9[7]
5 September 23, 2002 May 19, 2003 2002–2003 #27 13.0[8]
6 Wednesday 9:00/8:00c (October 1, 2003 – May 18, 2005) October 1, 2003 May 19, 2004 2003–2004 #33 11.1[9]
7 October 27, 2004 May 18, 2005 2004–2005 #48 9.8[10]
8 Monday 8:00/7:00c (September 19, 2005 – May 22, 2006) September 19, 2005 May 22, 2006 2005–2006 #49 10.0[11]
9 Wednesday 8:00/7:00c / Monday 9:30/8:30c (December 6, 2006 – May 14, 2007) December 6, 2006 May 14, 2007 2006–2007 #33 11.4[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Kevin James received one Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of Doug Heffernan on The King of Queens.

Television Season Award Actor Category Television Program Result Notes
2005–2006 Emmy Award Kevin James Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series The King of Queens
(Episode: "Pole Lox")
Nominated Lost to Tony Shalhoub (Monk)

Episodes[edit]

Home media releases[edit]

In Region 1, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released all nine seasons of The King of Queens on DVD in the USA & Canada

In Region 2, Paramount Home Entertainment has released all nine seasons on DVD in the UK.[13] The series has also been released in Germany by Koch Media, all nine seasons have been released.

In Region 4, Paramount Home Entertainment has released all nine seasons on DVD in Australia.[14]

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) April 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[15]
The Complete Seventh Season 22 (3 discs) January 16, 2007 November 9, 2010[16] March 22, 2010 March 9, 2007 April 1, 2010
The Complete Eighth Season 23 (3 discs) May 1, 2007 November 9, 2010[17] June 21, 2010 August 24, 2007 June 3, 2010
The Complete Ninth Season 13 (2 discs) September 25, 2007 November 9, 2010[18] 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[19] TBA

Blu-ray releases[edit]

Seasons two[20] and three[21] 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165581/trivia
  2. ^ The exterior shots of the Heffernans' house have been made in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, see "The King of Queens House". October 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "King of Queens – The Complete Eighth Season". CBSStore.com. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  4. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2009-10-29. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  5. ^ Quotenmeter.de – Das Online-Fernsehmagazin (2002-05-30). "US-Jahrescharts 1999/2000". Quotenmeter.de. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  6. ^ Jun 01, 2001 (2001-06-01). "The Bitter End". EW.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  7. ^ "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Nielsen's TOP 156 Shows for 2002–03 – rec.arts.tv | Google Groups". Groups.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  9. ^ "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ "Final Nielsen ratings for 2006–07 season". 606studios.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ "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 2011-09-19. 
  14. ^ "King of Queens, The – 9th Season (2 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  15. ^ [3][dead link]
  16. ^ "King of Queens S7: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  17. ^ "King of Queens S8: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  18. ^ "King of Queens S9: Amazon.ca: DVD". Amazon.ca. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  19. ^ "Koch Media Home Entertainment". Kochmedia-dvd.com. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  20. ^ "Season 2 Info". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  21. ^ "Season 3 Info". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 

External links[edit]