House of Lies
|House of Lies|
House of Lies title card
|Created by||Matthew Carnahan|
|Based on||House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time
by Martin Kihn
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||36 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Crescendo Productions
Totally Commercial Films
Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
|Original run||January 8, 2012– present|
House of Lies is an American comedy-drama television series created by Matthew Carnahan. The show, which premiered on Showtime on January 8, 2012, is based on the book, House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, written by Martin Kihn, a former consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. It follows a group of management consultants who stop at nothing to get business deals done.
On February 1, 2012, House of Lies was renewed for a second season. The second season premiered January 13, 2013 at 10 pm. The second season finale premiered April 7, 2013. On January 29, 2013, House of Lies was renewed for a third season. Season 3 began airing on January 12, 2014. On February 18, 2014, House of Lies was renewed for a fourth season. 
The show focuses on the personal and business lives of Marty Kihn (Don Cheadle), a manipulative, immoral, driven and cold management consultant.
Originally, Marty was a highly successful partner at consultancy firm Galweather Stearn, where he headed up a pod consisting of engagement manager Jeannie van der Hooven (Kristen Bell) and associates Clyde Oberholdt (Ben Schwartz) and Doug Guggenheim (Josh Lawson). He later leaves this position to head up his own firm, Kaan & Associates.
In addition to the questionable business practices of Marty and his team, the series also focuses on Marty's personal life; he deals with his psychotic management consultant ex-wife Monica (Dawn Olivieri), his retired-psychiatrist father Jeremiah (Glynn Turman) and his confidently flamboyant son Roscoe (Donis Leonard, Jr).The main character Marty often breaks the fourth wall popular in shows such as House of Cards, he talks to the viewers in a freeze frame bit in which he alone moves and the others in the background 'freeze' but continue where they left off before the bit.
Cast and characters
- Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan, the immoral and deceitful proprietor of consultancy firm Kaan & Associates
- Kristen Bell as Jeannie van der Hooven, a partner at Kaan & Associates with whom Marty has a tense relationship
- Ben Schwartz as Clyde Oberholdt, a member of Marty's consultant pod who specialises in marketing and spin
- Josh Lawson as Doug Guggenheim, a member of Marty's consultant pod who specialises in numerical analysis
- Dawn Olivieri as Monica Talbot, an ex-partner at rival firm Kinsley & Associates, and Marty's ex-wife
- Donis Leonard Jr. as Roscoe Kaan, the flamboyant and experimental son of Monica and Marty
- Glynn Turman as Jeremiah Kaan, Marty's ex-psychiatrist father and the main caregiver for Roscoe
- John Aylward as K. Warren McDale, CEO/president of Metro-Capital
- Anna Camp as Rachel Norbert, ex-wife of Greg
- Griffin Dunne as Marco "The Rainmaker" Pelios, president/CEO/senior partner at Galweather-Stearn
- Megalyn Echikunwoke as April, Marty's girlfriend
- Mo Gaffney as Principal Gita
- Greg Germann as Greg Norbert, ex-CFO of Metro-Capital
- Richard Schiff as Harrison "Skip" Galweather, senior partner/co-founder of Galweather-Stearn
- Bess Armstrong as Julianne Hotschragar, interim CEO of Galweather-Stearn
- Adam Brody as Nate, CEO/president of adult sex toy company
- Kevin Dobson as Mr. Pinkus, owner of the Emerald casino in Las Vegas
- Lisa Edelstein as Brynn, assistant/political advisor for Carl Criswell
- Mo Gaffney as Principal Gita
- Taylor Gerard Hart as Alex Dushkin, co-owner of Las Vegas Nightclub War
- Evan Hart as Kyle Dushkin, co-owner of Las Vegas Nightclub War
- Ronete Levenson as Tessa, Monica's vegan chef, ex-girlfriend
- Nia Long as Tamara, Galweather & Stearn's newest employee/classmate of Marty's from B School
- Eden Malyn as Zanna, the Pod's personal assistant
- Michael McDonald as Carl Criswell, CEO/president of US Bank
- Elimu Nelson as Kevin, Tamara's husband
- Jenny Slate as Sarah, Doug's girlfriend and later, wife
- Larenz Tate as Malcolm Kaan, Marty's brother
- Mather Zickel as Michael Carlson, owner of the Vibrato casino in Las Vegas
- Genevieve Angelson - Caitlyn Hobart, part of Marty's new pod
- Bess Armstrong as Julianne Hotschragar, interim CEO of Galweather-Stearn, fired in "Boom"
- Eugene Cordero - Everett, part of Monica's pod
- Eliza Coupe - Marisa McClintock, youngest of the McClintock family/chairwoman of McClintock Media Group/founder of MediaWolfOnline newspaper/Clyde's girlfriend
- Griffin Dunne as Marco "The Rainmaker" Pelios, president/CEO/senior Partner at Galweather-Stearn, returned in "Boom"
- Ryan Gaul - Will, part of Marty's new pod, Clyde's nemesis in the new collective pod
- Rob Gleeson - Jeffrey, part of Marty's new pod
- Alice Hunter - Chantelle, a young PhD candidate who is dating Jeremiah Kaan and of whom Marty disapproves
- Lauren Lapkus - Benita Spire, part of Jeanie's new pod
- John Carroll Lynch - Gil Selby, one of Galweather-Stearn's senior partners
- Mekhi Phifer as Andrew "Dre" Collins, cofounder of DollaHyde, a hip-hop fashion label/former drug dealer
- Brad Schmidt - JC, part of Jeanie's new pod
- Jenny Slate as Sarah, Doug's wife
- Daniel Stern - Robert Tretorn, Free Range Foods CEO/president/founder
- Bex Taylor-Klaus - Lex, Roscoe Kaan's partner who is a bad influence on him
- T.I.. as Lukas Frye, cofounder of DollaHyde, a hip-hop fashion label/former drug dealer/founder of Soldier sneakers originally a subsidiary of DollaHyde
- Milana Vayntrub - Christy, part of Monica's pod, was arrested and fired for stabbing her in "Power"
- Brigid Coulter - wife of Andrew "'Dre" Collins.
Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, reviewing the pilot episode, thought the show's premise "sounds terrific in concept", that "Cheadle and Bell are each in their own way exceedingly charming performers with a devilish aspect to their images", and that it has debuted at a good time: "at this time in history, who doesn't want to see undeservingly wealthy people get fleeced, or at least brought low by their avarice?" But ultimately Tucker found House of Lies wanting, writing that it is actually not "all that interesting", and that its "crucial weakness is its dead language". For Tucker, "there's no novelty or freshness in House of Lies' patter or its penis-placement" (the latter comment being a reference to House of Lies' "butt-load of the sort of sexual activity one can get away with on pay-cable").
In stark contrast, Matt Rouch, writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, thought that "as a pitiless, biting satire of the debauched state of American big business, it's no lie to call this one of the smartest, funniest shows of the new year", praising its being "[d]eeply cynical, garish in its raunchiness and always rudely, lewdly hilarious". It "swims in a shark tank of such appalling survival-of-the-nastiest bad behavior it could launch its own channel: Human Animal Planet". Where Tucker finds House of Lies' lines and dialogue poor, Rouch praises Don Cheadle's character's lines: Cheadle's character "often steps out of a freeze-frame to deliver scathing stylized asides to the audience, talking straight to the camera to teach us his lingo and soulless trade secrets". (By contrast, Tucker found these freeze-frame asides a "visual gimmick" and complained of derivative lines: "Creator Matthew Carnahan [...] loads his new show with lines that sound borrowed from Glengarry Glen Ross ("Closing is what I do!")."
After the mixed reception of the premiere season, House of Lies received more positive critic reviews in its second season, with many critics commenting on the improved cohesion of the season and the more consistent tone.
The show's third season received similarly positive reactions from critics, with the lead performances of Cheadle and Bell, as well as the guest roles of Harris and Phifer, being singled out for praise.
Development and production
The series is executively produced by Matthew Carnahan, Jessika Borsiczky, and Stephen Hopkins, with the pilot written by Carnahan and directed by Hopkins. On December 13, 2010, House of Lies was given a pilot order. On April 7, 2011, the series was given a 12 episode pick-up by Showtime. The series is based on Martin Kihn's book, House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time. David Nevins, president of entertainment at Showtime, announced during the 2011 Television Critics Association press tour that the show was set to premiere on January 8, 2012.
Casting announcements began in December 2010, with Don Cheadle as the first actor to be cast, as Marty Kaan, "a highly successful, cut-throat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want". The next actor to be cast was Dawn Olivieri who plays Monica, "Marty's crazy, pill-popping ex-wife and biggest professional competition as her consulting firm is No. 1 compared to Marty's No. 2." Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson were cast next, Schwartz playing Clyde Oberholt, a member of Marty's team and his closest friend, and Lawson as Doug Guggenheim, Marty's Harvard-educated associate. Last cast were Kristen Bell, who plays Jeannie van der Hooven, "a razor-sharp, Ivy-League graduate who works at Marty’s firm", Donis Leonard Jr. as Roscoe Kaan, Marty's son, and Glynn Turman as Jeremiah Kaan, Marty's psychoanalyst father. Later, Richard Schiff was cast as Marty's boss.
House of Lies Live
On December 29, 2013, Showtime presented "House of Lies Live" which featured members of the main cast and guest actors on the show performing at the UCB theatre in the first broadcast of long form improv.
Awards and nominations
|2012||Primetime Emmy Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Don Cheadle||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actor TV Series – Comedy or Musical||Don Cheadle||Won|
|2013||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series||Don Cheadle||Won|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Don Cheadle||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Don Cheadle||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Don Cheadle||Nominated|
- Ng, Philiana (April 7, 2011). "Showtime Greenlights 'Homeland,' 'House of Lies'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (February 1, 2012). "Showtime Renews 'Shameless,' 'House Of Lies,' & 'Californication'". TVByTheNubmers.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- "Californication Season 6, Shameless Season 3 And House Of Lies Season 2 Premiere Dates Set". Cinemablend.com. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- Seat42f. "House Of Lies Renewed". Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Seat42f. "Showtime Renews House Of Lies". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Tucker, Ken (January 8, 2012). "'House of Lies' premiere review: Too often, a house of pain". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Seattle Pi TV Guide".[dead link]
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 13, 2010). "It's Official: Showtime Picks Up Comedy Pilot 'House of Lies' Starring Don Cheadle". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- "Showtime(R) Moves Into House and Home: Network Orders 12 Half-Hours of "House of Lies", 12 One-Hour Episodes of Drama "Homeland"". The Futon Critic. April 7, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Goldberg, Lesley (June 15, 2011). "5 Things to Know About 'House of Lies'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Sellers, John (August 4, 2011). "TCA: Steve Carell Set to Produce Showtime Interview Series". Reuters. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 20, 2011). "Showtime's Comedy Pilot Starring Don Cheadle Finds A Lead". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 24, 2011). "TV CASTINGS: Ben Schwartz, Sherri Shepherd, Jeffrey Nordling Join Pilots". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 31, 2011). "Kristen Bell To Co-Star In Showtime's 'House of Lies' Comedy Pilot". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Ben Block, Alex (September 15, 2011). "Showtime's 'House of Lies' Adds Richard Schiff". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "All the winners from the 2013 Golden Globes". news.com.au. January 14, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
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