K Street (TV series)

Last updated
K Street
K Street (TV series).jpg
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Henry Bean
Directed bySteven Soderbergh
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Executive producers
  • Jonathan Zurer
  • Mike Fountain
Production location Washington D.C.
CinematographySteven Soderbergh
  • Steven Soderbergh
  • Tony Black
Camera setup Single-camera setup
Running time30 minutes
Production company Interface Media Group
Original network HBO
Original releaseSeptember 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 airdate in order to keep the episodes fresh.

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 Vermont Governor and presidential hopeful Howard Dean a line to use in a debate. Local appearances by the show's producer, 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 .[ citation needed ]

The show was quite popular in the Washington, D.C. area but failed to find a broader audience. On November 24, 2003, HBO declined to renew it after the initial 10 episodes.[ citation needed ]


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] In his review for the Washington Post , Tom Shales 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] In his review for The New York Post , Adam Buckman 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]

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  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.