Doug and Carrie Heffernan (Kevin James and Leah Remini) share their home in Queens, New York, with Carrie’s oddball dad, Arthur Spooner (Jerry Stiller). Doug, who makes a living as a delivery driver for the International Parcel Service, spends most of his time at his home with his wife Carrie. Carrie works as a secretary for a law firm in midtown Manhattan and later, is a secretary for a real estate firm. This is complicated by Arthur, who can be quite a handful—so much so that they hired a dog walker, Holly (Nicole Sullivan), to walk him along with her canine charges in the local park.
Doug hangs with his advice-giving buddies Deacon Palmer (Victor Williams), Spence Olchin (Patton Oswalt), Richie Iannucci (Larry Romano Season 1-3 ) and Danny Heffernan (Gary Valentine). His friend Spence is a Star Trek-loving nerd who is not very savvy when it comes to women. Deacon Palmer is Doug’s best friend, and can often be seen working at IPS with Doug. Danny is Doug’s cousin, whom Doug initially cannot stand but eventually warms up to. Richie is a firefighter and casanova. The gang frequently hangs out at Cooper’s Ale House in Glendale in West-Central Queens.
The show usually revolves around intricate plots between either Doug or Carrie (sometimes both) to hilariously get something out of the other or a third party; Deacon Palmer and Holly are typical targets of this. However, there are instances where one of the two, or both, are inspired to do good deeds (such as donating to charities or helping a person find a job), or to do something beneficial for themselves (such as flipping a house, or investing in the stock market). They (usually Doug) will typically botch these plans causing one of the two (usually Doug) to panic and sabotage that situation, or they (usually Carrie) will get hung up on not receiving the proper credit for their actions. Most of the time the results of their antics leave the characters in a stagnant position by the end of the episode.
Unlike the traditional sitcom formula, the central conflict of many episodes is left unresolved at the end. Many episodes’ opening teasers (in episodes that actually have a teaser) feature situations that have absolutely nothing to do with that episode’s storylines. The ending scene of most episodes is a very short joke that most of the time is related to the main story line.
Most scenes usually 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.