House of Lies

House of Lies Information

House of Lies (stylized as HOU$E OF LIE$) is an American dramatic/comedy 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, even if it calls for extremes. On February 1, 2012, it was renewed for a second season. On January 29th, 2013, it was renewed for a third season.

The second season premiered January 13, 2013 at 10 pm.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Season 1

  • Greg Germann as Greg Norbert
  • Anna Camp as Rachel Norbert
  • Griffin Dunne as Marco Pelios (The Rainmaker)
  • Richard Schiff as Harrison "Skip" Galweather
  • Mo Gaffney as Principal Gita
  • John Aylward as K. Warren McDale
  • Megalyn Echikunwoke as April

Season 2

  • Mo Gaffney as Principal Gita
  • Bess Armstrong as Julianne Hotschragar
  • Taylor Gerard Hart as Alex Dushkin
  • Evan Hart as Kyle Dushkin
  • Larenz Tate as Malcolm Kaan


See List of House of Lies episodes for more information


The show focuses on a team of management consultants from Galweather & Stearn, the #2 ranked management consultancy in the U.S., who are based in Los Angeles but take on projects across the world. Their key competitor is Kinsley, the #1 ranked management consultancy. The team comprises Marty Kaan, the Senior Partner; Jeannie van der Hooven, the Engagement Manager; and Doug Guggenheim and Clyde Oberholdt, the Associates.

Critical reception

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 rauchiness 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!")."

Development and production

The series is executive 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.


Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2012 Primetime Emmy Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Don Cheadle
Golden Globe Award Best Actor TV Series - Comedy or Musical Don Cheadle
2013 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Don Cheadle

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