After nine seasons, “The King of Queens” ends its reign with tonight’s episode. The longest-running current network sitcom, the show is also the 12th longest-running sitcom in TV history.
It’s one of only eight sitcoms of the 500 launched since 1990 to have reached the 200-episode mark, Variety has noted. Yet its demise will be without the hoopla, magazine covers and hourlong retrospectives that have accompanied final episodes of other long-running recent comedy series.
That seems to befit the modest blue-collar comedy starring Kevin James, Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller, about a package delivery man, his sassy wife and her loopy father.
The show never received much notice or critical acclaim as it went from year to year with its loyal fans. Yet its end represents another step in the extinction of a comedy genre that goes back to “The Honeymooners” and “The Flintstones.”
All feature the affable, all-too-human and frequently overweight husband alongside the long-suffering and unaccountably beautiful wife as they face day-to-day domestic irritants. In “King of Queens,” they included his sometimes obsession with food, her penchant for shopping and the unexpected behavior of her father, who moved in with them.
Not so long ago, TV was pocked with these kinds of comedies. From a glut that included “Still Standing,” “Yes Dear” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” now only a few such shows remain.
“King of Queens” didn’t rely on big guest stars or issues of social import to gain attention. Rather, it chugged along on its reliable and familiar-feeling comedy.
That’s the way it was from the beginning, when it debuted Sept. 21, 1998, the same night as “Will & Grace,” which ended its run with much more hubbub a year ago.
Fans may be consoled by the fact that, like “Raymond,” with which it was long paired, “The King of Queens” won’t be going away anytime soon.
The show is the fourth most syndicated comedy in television, behind “The Simpsons,” “Raymond” and “Seinfeld.”
The series finale of “King of Queens” airs 8 p.m. today on CBS.