K Street (TV series)

K Street
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Henry Bean
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring James Carville
Mary Matalin
John Slattery
Mary McCormack
Roger Guenveur Smith
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10
Executive producer(s) Henry Bean
George Clooney
Mark Sennet
Steven Soderbergh
Grant Heslov
Producer(s) Jonathan Zurer
Mike Fountain
Location(s) Washington D.C.
Cinematography Steven Soderbergh
Editor(s) Steven Soderbergh & Tony Black
Camera setup Single-camera setup
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Interface Media Group
Original network HBO
Original release September 14 (2003-09-14) – November 16, 2003 (2003-11-16)
External links

K Street is a 2003 HBO television series about lobbyists and politicians in Washington, D.C. It was named for a street that is home to many lobbying and legal firms.


Each episode was largely improvised, usually focused around the major political news of the week. This required that the show be shot within days of its air date in order to keep the episode fresh with current events.

K Street featured a fictional, bipartisan consulting firm led by husband and wife duo James Carville and Mary Matalin as themselves, as well as three fictional characters. The show featured cameos from numerous real-life political figures, some of whom were aware of the fictional plot, with others seemingly unaware. The show made a notable impact on the 2004 Democratic Primary when Carville gave a line to Vermont Governor and Presidential hopeful Howard Dean to use in a debate. Local appearances by the show's producer, actor George Clooney (director Steven Soderbergh was also involved in the project), caused considerable stir with frequent mentions in the "Style" section of The Washington Post.

The show was quite popular in the Washington, D.C. area and received a fair amount of critical acclaim, but failed to find a broader audience. HBO declined to renew the show after the initial 10 episodes on November 24, 2003.


In her review for The New York Times, Alessandra Stanley wrote, "Much has been written about the growing resemblance between Hollywood and Washington. As seen from K Street, Foggy Bottom is just another La Brea Tar Pit, where dinosaurs from past campaigns continually surface to be restored and preserved".[1] Tom Shales, in his review for the Washington Post, wrote, "K Street is highly unlikely to become a national sensation, but in big cities of the East it ought to be quite the conversation piece—for a little while anyway. In a sense, the show comes off like a marvelous party, but one to which many of us are bound to feel profoundly uninvited".[2] Variety magazine's Phil Gallo wrote, "Director Steven Soderbergh uses a guerilla style of filmmaking to capture behind-the-scenes players with a fervent urgency; if K Street holds its course, it could serve as a primer in understanding modern-day politics".[3] In his review for The New York Daily News, David Bianculli wrote, "Its starkness—no music, no opening credits and no identification of the show's real and imagined players until the end—is a stylistic choice, but an unsatisfying one".[4] Adam Buckman, in his review for The New York Post, wrote, "I didn't quite believe my eyes when I watched K Street, but like a UFO, I'm eager for a second look".[5] USA Today gave the show one-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "sitting through K Street was like watching a group of show-off kids hanging around amusing each other when they should be working. You'd think these people would have better things to do with their time, particularly the ones who are drawing a salary from the public treasury. Taxpayers and HBO subscribers should demand better for their money".[6]

See also


  1. Stanley, Alessandra (September 14, 2003). "Inside Washington Politics, Turned Inside Out". The New York Times. p. 40.
  2. Shales, Tom (September 15, 2003). "HBO's K Street, In Uncharted Territory". Washington Post. pp. C01.
  3. Gallo, Phil (September 16, 2003). "K Street". Variety. p. 10.
  4. Bianculli, David (September 16, 2003). "Been Down This Street". The New York Daily News. p. 82.
  5. Buckman, Adam (September 16, 2003). "K Street Stands for "Kooky"". The New York Post. p. 82.
  6. Bianco, Robert (September 19, 2003). "Well-intentioned K Street is headed the wrong way". USA Today. pp. 12E.
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