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Tracking the D'bury Universe

We won't post new stories on this page every day, but when we do put something up you have our word: It will be about the strip. Guaranteed.

Trudeau Puts Daily 'Doonesbury' On Long-Term Hiatus To Work On Renewed 'Alpha House'
Michael Cavna, The Washington Post | ALPHA HOUSE RENEWED | February 11, 2014

At this point in Garry Trudeau’s career, John Goodman has just proved to be more irresistible a roommate than Zonker.

Hello, daily call sheet; goodbye for now, daily comics page.

Trudeau, whose TV show “Alpha House” recently ended its debut season with strong viewership, got the good news: Amazon Studios has picked up his politically satiric program for a second season, the cartoonist and his syndicate are set to announce later this afternoon. That’s right: Fans will get to see more of Goodman and the gang portray four Republican senators who banter and bicker as Hill roomies.

But providing punch lines for Trudeau’s newest characters comes at a cost: As of Feb. 24, the daily “Doonesbury” — Trudeau’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip — will be put on long-term and open-ended hiatus, distributor Universal Uclick will announce...

Giles County Native Gets Role In 'Alpha House'
Mike Allen / The Roanoke Times | Alicia Sable Interview | January 6, 2014

Producer Dana Brunetti, who grew up in Covington, is one of the masterminds behind the Netflix original series "House of Cards." It turns out that Amazon Studios' rival enterprise "Alpha House," available through the online retailer's Amazon Prime service, has a major regional tie, too: Alicia Sable, who plays Tammy Stackhouse, the chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Gil John Biggs (John Goodman), is a Giles County native.

"This is my first series, and I can honestly say 'Alpha House' is like a giant family," Sable wrote in an email. "From the producers, to the Amazon executives, to the crew, everyone is so kind and nurturing."...

 

GBT On PBS NewsHour
PBS | GBT On PBS Newshour | December 18, 2013

The new web series "Alpha House" puts a comedic spin on politics in the era of tea party conservatism with a story about four Republican lawmakers who work and live together on Capitol Hill. Jeffrey Brown talks to "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau, the creator behind Amazon's first original streaming series...

The Making Of 'Alpha House'
Jonathan Alter, Politico | The Making Of 'Alpha House' | December 3, 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...

With Amazon's 'Alpha House,' Garry Trudeau Again Trains His Cross-hairs On D.C.
Michael Cavna, The Washington post | With Amazon's 'Alpha House,' Garry Trudeau Again Trains His Cross-hairs On D.C. | November 18, 2013

As the church doors open, Tom Brokaw and Michael Steele pivot quickly in opposite directions, neither of them quite sure what to do with the dead man.

Not everyone within arm’s reach of this stiff is required to react so swiftly. Some Beltway fixtures, like Jeff Greenfield and Dick Morris, calmly wave from the scrum of dark designer suits. Anthony Weiner is subdued and largely confined to the sidelines. Grover Norquist, Mr. Tax Reform himself, will have a special role to play in this surreal circus of political power-mourners.

He gets to say a line or two on camera.

From beyond the bright lights pops Garry Trudeau, who is choreographing this dance of famous faces...

'Alpha House' From Amazon Finds The Funny In Politics
Chuck Barney, Contra Costa Times | 'Alpha House' From Amazon Finds The Funny In Politics | November 14, 2013

If you're already of the opinion that the U.S. Senate is a clown act on steroids, "Alpha House," a promising new comedy from Amazon Studios, will do nothing to change your mind.

The online-only series, created by "Doonesbury" mastermind Garry Trudeau, follows four largely clueless Republican Senators played by John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy, who live together in a Washington D.C. rental.

Think: "House of Cards" crossed with "Animal House."...

Trudeau And Bezos Welcome A Packed House To The Premiere Of Alpha House

Appropriately, Garry Trudeau opened with a joke when he welcomed the audience of journalists, execs and stars who showed up to the premiere of his new Amazon show, Alpha House. "Thank you all so much for coming," he said. "A year ago if I'd been invited to an evening of Internet content, I'm pretty sure I'd have stayed home. And I'd also have wondered at the tragic turn John Goodman's career had taken." Trudeau, Jeff Bezos, producer Jonathan Alter and the cast of the show were out to celebrate the debut of the new series, along with the New York partygoing set (Kelly Ripa, Jerry Seinfeld and Jeffrey Tambor, among others)...

With 'Alpha House,' Amazon Makes Bid For Living Room Screens And Beyond
David Carr, The New York Times | With 'Alpha House,' Amazon Makes Bid For Living Room Screens And Beyond | November 4, 2013

Not long ago, I was on the set of a show about politics, Washington and a senator gone rogue. The set had all the trappings of a big-time television production, but it will be delivered not by broadcast or cable, but over the Internet by a technology company that has not historically been in the business of original productions.

No, this was not “House of Cards,” the Netflix drama that received a lot of attention and an Emmy for best director.

“House of Cards” was actually being filmed about 200 miles to the south, in Baltimore. I was in Queens watching a comedy called “Alpha House,” written by Garry Trudeau, the creator of the comic “Doonesbury,” that pivots around the substantial acting and physical presence of John Goodman...

Ready For Its Close-Up: Amazon Studios Preps Its First Shows
Jay Greene, The Seattle Times | Ready For Its Close-Up: Amazon Studios Preps Its First Shows | October 28, 2013

Maybe the most astute observer of Amazon.com’s daring foray into television production is Clark Johnson.

He’s one of those journeyman actors who is immediately recognizable to television viewers, even if he’s not a household name. Johnson, who has starred in such hits at NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” and HBO’s “The Wire,” is working on his latest project, “Alpha House,” produced for Amazon Studios.

The comedy about four Republican congressmen who share a Washington, D.C., house was created by “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau and stars Hollywood veteran John Goodman. Amazon put the pilot on its website in April to get feedback from viewers...

Return Delayed For 'Doonesbury'
Michael Cavna, Fort Wayne Journalgazette.net | Return Delayed For 'Doonesbury' | September 10, 2013

That’s the problem with remodeling. In trying to build his own Alpha House, Garry Trudeau says he has hit an immovable wall.

The “Doonesbury” cartoonist has been on sabbatical this summer as he readies his Washington-based TV series, “Alpha House,” one of the inaugural projects for Amazon Studios. That has meant a season of “Doonesbury Flashbacks” – aka reruns – on the comics page, with the comic strip’s return originally slated for Labor Day.

Now, like a Groundhog Day alert, comes new word: “Doonesbury” fans will get 10 more weeks of darkness. Original strips are now scheduled to return on the week of Nov. 18. The weekly color strip returned Sunday...