‘King of Queens’ Hid Leah Remini’s Real-Life Pregnancy With an Unemployment Arc

Among the countless TV shows, only a number of them make a significant impact on large audiences. One of them is the sitcom King of Queens on CBS. The series stars Kevin James, Leah Remini, and Lisa Rieffel. 

Remini originally passed on the chance to appear on the show. James convinced her to shoot the pilot episode. Remini played one of the prominent characters throughout the series. When she got pregnant, the studio had to find a way to explain her growing belly. 

‘King of Queens’ is a sitcom about a married couple

First airing in 1998, King of Queens was a hit series throughout the early-2000s. The show had nine seasons and concluded in 2007. At the time, it was one of the longest-running sitcoms on television. Millions of people tuned in for each season, critics gave the series positive reviews. 

The premise focuses on Doug Heffernan, who works as a parcel delivery man. He is married to Carrie, who is a legal secretary and has a quick temper. The couple lives in New York along with Carrie’s father, Arthur. Doug loves sports and TV, and he is not afraid to air his complaints. 

The show begins after the two of them get married. However, the series is not consistent with the backstory of how Doug and Carrie met. The final season ends with Doug and Carrie getting prepared to have children.  

Like many other sitcoms, each episode features the main character scheming. Doug’s various plans tend to backfire and land him in humorous situations. The character hangs out with some of his friends, such as Deacon and Spence. 

Leah Remini had a daughter in the early-2000s

Leah Remini attends the launch of VIVA GLAM Magazine's Celebrity Issue hosted by Leah Remini at Riviera 31 on June 2, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.
Leah Remini | Vincent Sandoval/WireImage

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Remini is a 50-year-old actor and is active in the television industry currently. She met actor Angelo Pagán in 1996, and the couple tied the knot in July 2003. Not only did she become the mother of his three sons from a previous relationship, but she and Pagán had a child of their own. 

Toward the end of 2003, Remini found out she was pregnant. The pregnancy occurred while she was still working on King of Queens but did not remove herself from the season.

The actor welcomed a daughter into the world in June 2004. She and her husband named the child Sofia, who would be Remini and Pagán’s only child together. 

When Remini was pregnant, she was an active member of Scientology. The church reportedly does not place importance on family and requires disconnection. However, the actor wanted to spend more time with her daughter. It was one of the reasons why she left the organization. 

Carrie lost her job when Leah Remini got pregnant

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While Remini was pregnant with her daughter, she still appeared in episodes of King of Queens. It is not uncommon for TV shows to hide the bellies of pregnant actors. Often, the creators find ways to achieve their goals. 

According to Screen Rant, Remini was expecting her child during season six of the series. The writers decided to write a storyline where Carrie lost her job. She frequently sits around the house while eating food. The show would have an explanation for the star’s weight gain instead of trying to hide her stomach with props. 

The actor later opened up about the backlash for the 80-pound weight gain while she was expecting her daughter in 2004. “No one wanted to talk about how I actually did lose the weight, just that I got fat,” she told People, reports US Magazine, in 2007. “When you have a baby and you are not blessed with a metabolism [such] that you can get back into your jeans the very next day, it becomes something to focus on. I don’t even blame the papers. They are making money from it. But the people who are buying it?”

It may have been easier for the producers to use a pregnancy storyline for the character. Mental Floss reports that the studio did not want the married couple to have children until the very end. The reason was they did not want to date the episodes as either pre-baby or post-baby. 

The studio was worried that dating the show would hurt its syndication. Instead, they left Carrie’s pregnancy announcement for the series finale.