By Christina Wilkie - 01/13/11 12:26 AM EST
A few phone calls later, it became clear why. ITK confirmed Wednesday that scenes for the series are being filmed at the Seventh Street NW offices of Main Justice, a news organization that focuses on the Justice Department.
Main Justice publisher Kenny Day confirmed that two cast members, House Rules Committee staffer and Wizards cheerleader Kristie Muchnok and Margaret Howell, will be embedded at the organization for numerous special assignments.
Lowe arrived on the set early, and rather than leave and come back when filming was under way, he reportedly stuck around, joked with staff and played a hands-on role in setting up the shots.
“Lowe is clearly the boss, 100 percent,” said the source, who spoke on background because filming is ongoing. “[Lowe] is calling the shots, and he wants it to be a serious show.”
So serious, in fact, that the former “West Wing” star was mortified to learn Thursday that C-SPAN had filmed him attending a hearing earlier that day in his “L.A. clothes,” according to the source.
Upon learning of the casual cameo, the source said Lowe instructed his Los Angeles-based staff to change into “Washington clothes” before Thursday’s party. One staffer reportedly even had to purchase a coat and tie.
A spokeswoman for the production company, 44 Blue, declined to comment.
As for whether “Potomac Fever” can capture enough of Washington’s real — and often serious — side while still being entertaining remains to be seen. But for at least one potential cast member, the contract wasn’t quite real enough.
“There was a clause in the contract that said [the show’s network] E! could create ‘fictitious situations,’ ” the source told ITK on Wednesday, “and that wasn’t going to work for my bosses.”
After a separate source confirmed the language in the contract, ITK asked Day at Main Justice whether he anticipated a problem.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We worked with Lowe’s team to create an agreement that works for everyone, and Rob Lowe gave us his personal assurances that no one would come across looking like jerks or clowns. We call it the jerks-and-clowns clause.”
A production company spokeswoman declined to discuss contract negotiations, which in some cases are still ongoing.
In the meantime, look for “Potomac Fever” camera crews on a Chinatown street corner near you.