Jonathan Alter for Politico: The Making of ‘Alpha House’

November 29th, 2013

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Politico
by Jonathan Alter
November 29, 2013

The first thing I learned about shooting a TV series on location in Washington is that you can’t. While news crews freely roam Senate hallways and committee rooms, films and TV shows are barred from working anywhere on the Capitol grounds. That meant that Alpha House, the new Amazon series centering on four senators that I’m helping to produce, was going to have to create its own Senate.

But where? Strict congressional rules and a shortage of soundstages and tax breaks in Washington mean that political shows are generally filmed in Los Angeles (Scandal, The West Wing), Baltimore (Veep, House of Cards) or New York. We chose New York for no other reason than that the show’s creator, Garry Trudeau of “Doonesbury” fame, and I live there, and our other executive producer, Elliot Webb, likes to visit.

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