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They’ll be serving $75 bottles of wine from two boutique California wineries — Joseph Phelps and Cakebread — at tonight’s premiere party for the new half-hour HBO series “K Street.” George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh — for celebrity-starved Washington, probably the evening’s biggest attraction — will be there. Plus some 250 guests, up from the 150 who had originally been invited. It’s obviously the biggest ticket in town for the night. The question is whether the show itself will also succeed, or be one monumental flop. “If it’s realistic, it will be boring,” says one wag. Suggests another lobbyist: “It doesn’t have to be real, it just has to look real.” “K Street” is only tangentially about lobbying. The fictitious firm around which the show’s plot will revolve each week is actually more akin to a public affairs firm, says Michael Deaver, one of the show’s three consulting producers and vice chairman at Edelman. “It’s modeled after an Edelman kind of firm,” says Deaver, “where they do issue work and crisis management.” In addition to Deaver, the show’s only other D.C. consultants are James Carville and Mary Matalin, who clearly are not part of the city’s lobby fraternity. All three will appear on “K Street” as themselves. Stuart Stevens of the Stevens and Schriefer Group, which specializes in political advertising, is a co-producer. Stevens, who has long-standing ties with the Bush White House, produced the Bush movie portrait for the 2000 Republican National Convention. The HBO team, which had originally considered renting space at 101 Constitution Ave., N.W., has taken a large space on the fifth floor at 1350 I St., N.W., overlooking Franklin Square. Two D.C. building permits hang on the entrance. Inside, there is room for production staff and the show’s wardrobe. A mock office for taping scenes is still under construction. The office will not be decorated with the stuffy gun prints and hunting scenes common to many lobbyists’ offices, but will have a sleeker, cleaner look. The show’s effort to integrate footage of real members of Congress into the script, and its fast-paced shooting schedule, are perhaps the most novel aspects of the series. Every Monday, the team will review the previous week’s news and decide on a story line. Shooting will take place midweek, and it will be edited and ready for viewing on Sunday night. At least one possible piece of the opening episode’s plot line was inadvertently revealed at a Howard Dean fund-raiser on Sept. 9. Dean explained how “K Street” cameras had captured his prep efforts for that evening’s Democratic presidential candidate debate. Mocking Carville’s strong Louisiana accent, Dean said Carville had praised the candidate’s use of a blue tie instead of the traditional red tie as a distinguishing feature. But Dean apparently doesn’t take his political cues from Hollywood, even if they’re offered by James Carville. “And that’s why I’m wearing my blue tie for tonight’s debate,” Dean said, laughing. He held up his tie. It was red.

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