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Senators nix filming for HBO's 'K Street'

Political consultants James Carville, left, Mary Matalin and Michael Deaver, part of HBO's new reality-drama show
Political consultants James Carville, left, Mary Matalin and Michael Deaver, part of HBO's new reality-drama show "K Street."

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a letter to their colleagues, Senate leaders are putting their foot down on the shooting of behind-the-scenes footage in the Capitol's corridors for use in "K Street," an experimental new HBO series about Washington lobbyists.

The chairmen of the Senate Rules Committee and Ethics Committee -- Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, and George Voinovich, R-Ohio -- sent a letter to their colleagues reminding them that Senate rules "strictly prohibit the use of Capitol and Senate space for any commercial or profit-making purpose." The ranking Democrats on both committees also signed the letter.

The newspaper Roll Call, which first reported the story, said HBO had agreed to stop shooting. HBO is a unit of AOL Time Warner, parent company of CNN.

Film crews for the show, which is being produced and directed by Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, have been in the Capitol shooting footage capturing images of some of the Senate's best-known faces, including Arizona's John McCain, New York's Hillary Clinton and Utah's Orrin Hatch.

Soderbergh is the noted Hollywood director of such films as "Erin Brockovich" and "Ocean's Eleven."

The show, which debuts Sunday, is a documentary-style series that bills itself as a "fusion of reality and fiction," or a behind-the-scenes look at the industry. It's not clear what the future of the show will be, since that reality factor has been removed.

Named after the Washington street where many lobbying firms are headquartered, it stars real-life political consultants and lobbyists, including James Carville, Mary Matalin and Michael Deaver.

A crew from the series, including Clooney, was seen shooting footage at a Democratic presidential debate in Baltimore Tuesday night.

CNN producer Steve Turnham contributed to this report.

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