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Alpha House

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Alpha House
Created byGarry Trudeau
Written byGarry Trudeau
Directed by
Theme music composerAnton Sanko
ComposerAnton Sanko
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes21 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerAntoine L. Douaihy
CinematographyPatrick Capone
Running time26 minutes
Production companyAmazon Studios
Original release
NetworkAmazon Prime Video
ReleaseApril 19, 2013 (2013-04-19) –
October 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)

Alpha House is an American political satire television series[1] produced by Amazon Studios.[2] The show starred John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, and Mark Consuelos as four Republican U.S. Senators who share a house in Washington, D.C. It was created by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. The show premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 19, 2013.

The series is inspired by several real Democratic Senators who share a row house in Washington D.C.[3] The series has a number of cameos from celebrities such as Bill Murray (as Senator Vernon Smits) and politicians such as Chuck Schumer as himself. Amazon Studios offered the first three episodes of Alpha House for free, with each subsequent episode released weekly thereafter for Amazon Prime members on Amazon Prime Video.[4]

On February 11, 2014, the series was renewed for a second season[4] and the production for the second season began filming in July 2014.[5] The entire second season became available on Amazon.com on October 24, 2014.[6] The series was canceled after the second season.[7]




  • Bill Murray as Senator Vernon Smits, the Senators' fifth roommate who is arrested in the pilot episode for multiple scandals (3 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Haley Joel Osment as Shelby Mellman, a reporter from Reno, Nevada (12 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Amy Sedaris as Louise Laffer, Louis's wife (14 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Wanda Sykes as Senator Rosalyn DuPeche, the Senators' next-door neighbor from Illinois and the Democratic Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee (14 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Brooke Bloom as Julie Carrell, Louis's Chief of Staff (18 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Kobi Libii as Aaron Stimson, Robert's legislative aide (7 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Ben Rameaka as James Whippy, Louis's social media aide (17 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Bjorn Dupaty as Hakeem Agabi, body man to Gil John and one of his former players (5 episodes, 2013)
  • Willa Fitzgerald as Lola Laffer, Louis's daughter (12 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Lila Newman as Charlotte "Cee" Biggs, Gil John's daughter (6 episodes, 2014)
  • Natalie Gold as Katherine Sims, Andy's Chief of Staff (15 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Sofiya Akilova as Marta Stjepanovi-Majdandzic, the Senators' Croatian housekeeper and Andy's mistress (7 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Tony Plana as Benito "Benny" López, Adriana's aide (6 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Richard Cox as Graydon Talbot, a spin doctor counseling Andy (9 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Owen Campbell as Dilly DeSantis, loosely based on the young data scientists that worked on the Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2012[8] (3 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Molly Kate Bernard as Angie Sullivan, a videographer working for the Republican Party Chair (4 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Lee Tergesen as Col. Eugene Drake, a gay army commander who intrigues Louis (3 episodes, 2014)
  • William Thomas Evans as Senator Lamar Farkus, a Republican from Delaware (9 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Cynthia Nixon as Senator Carly Armiston, a New York Democrat and the chair of the Senate Ethics Committee (6 episodes, 2013)
  • Kenneth Tigar as Senator Paul Mower, an Idaho Republican (5 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Marylouise Burke as Senator Betty Mower, Paul's widow, who takes his position following his death. (4 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Janel Moloney as Senator Peg Stanchion, a North Dakota Libertarian activist and member of the Tea Party (4 episodes, 2014)
  • Bianca Amato as Senator Alice Graves, a Republican from Maine (2 episodes, 2014)
  • Bob Balaban as Senator Elliot Robeson, a Democrat from California (2 episodes, 2014)
  • Lucy DeVito as Charity Robeson, Elliot's daughter (4 episodes, 2014)
  • Anita Petry as Camila Perez, a Spanish Professor visiting from Barcelona (3 episodes, 2013)
  • Chance Kelly as Bo Carthage, the CEO of a private military contractor (2 episodes, 2013)
  • Matty Blake as Captain Brandon Carshaw, Ret. (2 episodes, 2013)
  • Wendy Makkena as Molly P. Andresun (2 episodes, 2014)
  • Tracy Howe as Colonel Wozniak (2 episodes, 2013)
  • Ted King as Al Hickok, a Tea Party activist running for Senator Laffer's seat during the primaries (2 episodes, 2013)
  • Penn Jillette as a fictionalized version of himself, running as the Democratic candidate for Louis's Senate seat (5 episodes, 2014)
  • Ed Rendell as a fictionalized version of himself, running as the Democratic candidate for Robert's Senate seat (2 episodes, 2014)
  • Matthew Humphreys as Colonel Leland Grimmel, a war hero and former basketball player running as the Democratic candidate for Gil John's Seat (4 episodes, 2014)
  • Todd Susman and Lee Wilkof as the Watt Brothers, wealthy casino owners and businessmen from Nevada funding Louis and Gil John (4 episodes, 2013–14)
  • Tamara Tunie as Eve Bettencourt, Robert's divorced wife (2 episodes, 2014)



SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
111September 8, 2013 (2013-09-08)January 10, 2014 (2014-01-10)
210October 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)

Season 1 (2013–14)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Pilot"Adam BernsteinGarry TrudeauApril 19, 2013 (2013-04-19)
Re-election battles, looming indictments, parties, their Party... these senators need a drink. And a new housemate.
22"No Shame"Adam BernsteinGarry TrudeauNovember 15, 2013 (2013-11-15)
The senators adjust to their new roommate, and his girlfriend, as preparations for the Congressional Delegation to Afghanistan continue. Meanwhile, Louis' appearance on The Colbert Report takes a wrong turn, leaving him to search for an alternate way to win over voters.
33"All Weapons Red"Adam BernsteinGarry TrudeauNovember 15, 2013 (2013-11-15)
As the re-election battles heat up the four senators travel to Afghanistan as part of a Congressional Delegation and encounter a surprise.
44"Triggers"Jake SchreierGarry TrudeauNovember 22, 2013 (2013-11-22)
After a surprise explosion in Afghanistan leaves Louis recovering from an injury, Adriana makes controversial private arrangements for the group to return home.
55"Hippo Issues"Michael MayerGarry TrudeauNovember 29, 2013 (2013-11-29)
Tempers heat up as Gil John's wife Maddie (Julie White) arrives to help him prepare for his upcoming debate with Digger Mancusi. Meanwhile, Louis continues to recover in the hospital and Senator Armiston (Cynthia Nixon) leads an ethics committee investigation against Robert.
66"Zingers"Bob BalabanGarry TrudeauDecember 6, 2013 (2013-12-06)
Louis continues to gain constituent support as Shelby (Haley Joel Osment) chronicles his recovery. Gil John faces Digger Mancusi in a town hall where he struggles to keep up with his polished and well-liked opponent, despite much help and coaching from Robert and Andy.
77"Prayer Brunch"Bob BalabanGarry TrudeauDecember 13, 2013 (2013-12-13)
Rosalyn (Wanda Sykes) organizes a prayer brunch to celebrate Louis' homecoming from the hospital, but the Senators and their fellow Democrats find it difficult to set aside their differences. Aaron and Tammy's relationship continues to grow and Lola has a surprise in store for James.
88"Ruby Shoals"Michael MayerPeter Gwinn & Alison McDonald and Garry TrudeauDecember 20, 2013 (2013-12-20)
While on the campaign trail through North Carolina, Gil John blows off a meeting with the governor to visit Ruby Shoals where he becomes re-inspired about his campaign. Robert's pro-fracking visit to a constituent's home in Pennsylvania does not go as planned.
99"The Rebuttal"Jann TurnerWill Graham & Jared Gruszecki and Garry TrudeauDecember 27, 2013 (2013-12-27)
Robert proves to the ethics committee that he would never take a mohair suit while Andy prepares to deliver a rebuttal after the State of the Union. Louis is put in the spotlight on his first day back when James mistakenly tweets a photo intended for Lola from the wrong account.
1010"Showgirls"Andrew McCarthyGarry TrudeauJanuary 3, 2014 (2014-01-03)
Louis decides to help showgirls organize, but the Watt brothers stand in his way. A video of Gil John hitting a soldier with a chair in Afghanistan goes viral so Maddie looks for a way to humanize him and Andy's Vanity Fair cover shoot takes an unexpected direction.
1111"In the Saddle"Clark JohnsonGarry TrudeauJanuary 10, 2014 (2014-01-10)
When another senator dies unexpectedly, Gil John is asked to organize the funeral arrangements. Louis wins the Nevada primary, but Robert has to face off in a Pennsylvania debate to cool the competition.

Season 2 (2014)[edit]

On February 11, 2014, the series was renewed for a second season.[4] Production for the second season began filming in July 2014,[5] and the entire season premiered on Amazon.com on October 24, 2014.[6]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
121"The Love Doctor"Michael MayerGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Gil John helps a former player become a war hero, and quickly regrets it. Robert hosts an engagement party for his latest matchmaking success, but isn't prepared for the surprise guest.
132"Gaffergate"Andrew McCarthyGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Gil John pays a visit to the Watt brothers, Louis worries when an old college friend threatens to share stories, and Andy tries to talk his way out of "Gaffergate," only to learn he's got bigger image problems.
143"The Contest"Michael MayerGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Andy and Adriana start planning for a future worthy of a first family. Louis preps for the "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest, while his opponent, Penn Jillette, preps for their senate race. Back at the house, the Watt brothers find a new way to taunt Gil John.
154"Shelter In Place"Andrew McCarthyWill Graham, Garry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Cee Biggs brings her reality show cameras to her father's office - just in time for gunshots that trigger a lockdown on Capitol Hill. Rosalyn (Wanda Sykes) forces Robert to face the truth about his marriage, and Louis is forced to let go of a fantasy.
165"The Apparition"Michael MayerGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Gil John tries to right things after the Watts brothers "Swift Boat" his former player. Julie shocks Louis and Louise (Amy Sedaris) by announcing she's pregnant from an anonymous donor, while Adriana confronts Marta the housekeeper about Andy. Louis tries to debate Penn Jillette, but he's no match for what the magician has up his sleeves.
176"The Retreat"Andrew McCarthyGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
The senators head to a Republican retreat at a Virginia plantation, where they're haunted by the ghosts of slavery, Ronald Reagan and their exes. After a soul-cleansing bonfire with the housemates, Gil John awakes with a new fire in his belly.
187"The Civility Zone"Jann TurnerGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Gil John finally breaks through to daughter Cee, then gets a lesson in civility from the women's caucus. Andy heads to Miami to try and win back Adriana, and gets some insights into his "condition" from a therapist. Meanwhile, Robert ignores his advisors and helps register black voters.
198"Bugged"Bob BalabanWill Graham, Garry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
After a break-in at the Alpha House, the NSA does a sweep, and gets suspicious – which lands Robert a new covert mission. Meanwhile, Gil John goes to bat for the women's caucus bill, earning him a whole new following. And Louis's aides inspire him to publicly "evolve" on gay marriage, much to their chagrin.
209"There Will Be Water"Antoine DouaihyGarry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Gil John gets attacked by Sarah Palin and embraced by the media. Pressured by the party chair, Louis nudges Julie to consider a big wedding. Robert is forced to kiss up to his ex-wife's new beau, but gets some help from Rosalyn (Wanda Sykes).
2110"The Nuptials"Adam BernsteinWill Graham, Garry TrudeauOctober 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
As the election returns come in, Gil John meets with a presidential campaign advisor, while Robert wonders if he still has a job. Katherine and Julie discover their wedding has been turned into a major political event – after they arrive.


Filming took place on stages at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.[9] ADR recording was done at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto.[10]


In Australia, where Prime Video was not yet available, the series premiered on SoHo on July 14, 2014,[11] and returned for season two on February 26, 2015.[12]


Reaction to Alpha House has been generally positive.[13] Metacritic gives season 1 an average rating of 68/100 based on reviews from 21 critics.[14] Rotten Tomatoes gives season 1 a score of 76% based on reviews from 38 critics.[15] Rotten Tomatoes gives season 2 a score of 83% based on reviews from 6 critics.[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Result
2014 Satellite Awards[17] Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical Amazon Studios Nominated
Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical John Goodman Won
2015 Imagen Awards Best Actor - Television Mark Consuelos Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical Amazon Studios Nominated
Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical John Goodman Nominated


  1. ^ "Alpha House: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. November 14, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (May 29, 2013). "John Goodman's Alpha House given full series by Amazon's new pilot scheme". Radio Times. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Correspondent, By Dana Bash, CNN Chief Congressional (December 4, 2013). "The real 'Alpha House': Yes, this is where some Senators actually live - CNNPolitics". CNN. Retrieved November 26, 2020. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c Cavna, Michael (February 11, 2014). "Trudeau puts daily 'Doonesbury' on long-term hiatus to work on renewed 'Alpha House'". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Dionne, Zach (March 12, 2014). "Amazon Ordered Four of Its Pilots — Including 'Transparent' — to Series". Grantland. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Alpha House on Amazon.com". Alpha House on Amazon.com. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Heil, Emily (August 8, 2016). "Amazon's 'Alpha House' gets the ax". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Cast details from imdb.com". IMDb. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  9. ^ Gavin, Patrick (November 6, 2013). "'Alpha House': D.C. in the details". Politico. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  10. ^ "Post production for Alpha House in the studio via ISDN". Cherry Beach Sound. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Purcell, Charles (July 14, 2014). "New this week: The Recruit, The Bridge, OITNB, Rake (US), RHONJ, Super Rugby finals and The British Open". Foxtel. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  12. ^ Purcell, Charles (February 26, 2015). "NEW THIS WEEK: NAB Challenge, V8 Supercars, Alpha House, Project Runway All Stars and more". Foxtel. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "Amazon says its original show "Alpha House" is a hit (critics say it's OK) — Tech News and Analysis". Gigaom.com. November 19, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  14. ^ "Alpha House - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  15. ^ "Alpha House: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  16. ^ "Alpha House: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  17. ^ "2013 Nominations". International Press Academy. Retrieved December 27, 2013.

External links[edit]