The number of notable series exclusively available on streaming services continues to grow. Starting today, anyone can sample the first three episodes of "Alpha House," created by Garry Trudeau, on Newer episodes will arrive on a weekly basis and can be watched only by subscribers of Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Goodman and co-stars Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos play four U.S. senators who share an apartment while serving (or avoiding) their constituents in Washington, D.C.

This premise is based on a real crash pad shared by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Reps. Bill Delahunt and George Miller, who were profiled in a much-discussed 2007 New York Times article, "Taking Power, Sharing Cereal." The senators on "Alpha" are more likely to share bourbon.

This isn't Goodman's first role as a D.C. power broker. He played a conservative, pug-owning speaker of the house who briefly assumed the presidency on "The West Wing." Trudeau wrote "Tanner '88," a great fake documentary HBO miniseries directed by Robert Altman that followed a fictitious candidate (Michael Murphy) over the course of the real primary season of 1988.

The humor in "Alpha" is a tad broader than in "Tanner," but both draw from reality, or a wishful interpretation of reality. "Alpha" lacks the fake Shakespearean pretense of Netflix's "House of Cards" and the slapstick of HBO's "Veep." But it does have Goodman, who inhabits his character, a former college basketball coach turned Republican senator from North Carolina. Goodman's Gil John Biggs is comfortable enough in his skin, his manhood and his popularity to brush off the need to campaign for re-election -- until a rival emerges who just happens to be a more successful basketball coach.


Don't go looking for obvious punch lines. The setting, involving the insecurity of powerful middle-aged men bunking up on sleeper couches, fighting off tea party insurgents and avoiding their wives, is often funny enough.

Look for Bill Murray in a brief, memorable cameo in the show's pilot as a former roommate who goes from the senators' shared quarters to the more secure accommodations of federal prison.

---"Against the Tide" (10 p.m., Showtime, TV-PG) looks at the civil rights struggle from a very different point of view, examining the efforts to integrate the University of Alabama football program under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Tom Selleck narrates this film that includes interviews with former Alabama players Joe Namath, John Mitchell and John Hannah and USC's Sam "Bam" Cunningham and Jimmy Jones.

---With a new pint-sized "MasterChef Junior" selected, Fox restructures its Friday nights. "Bones" migrates to Fridays, and "Rais ing Hope" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) enters a new season with a special one-hour episode guest starring Jeffrey Tambor

("Arrested Development").


---Brennan enters jury duty on "Bones" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

---The last seven days reviewed on "Charlie Rose: The Week" (8:30 p.m., PBS).

---The governor wants a hacker (Nick Jonas) arrested on "Hawaii Five-0" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

---A winner emerges on "Amer ica's Next Top Model" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

---A drowning reveals a new group of creatures on "Grimm" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

---"Great Performances" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) presents an encore presentation of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!" from London's National Theatre, starring Hugh Jackman.

---A mobster is shot while dining with Frank on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

---Lucy buries her heartache in Mina's engagement party on "Dra cula" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

---Aubrey arrives in a parallel village on "Haven" (10 p.m., Syfy, TV-14).


A small town author (Irene Dunne) shocks her neighbors with her racy novels in the 1936 comedy "Theodora Goes Wild" (8 p.m. TCM).


---Ideas percolate on "Under cover Boss" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

---Vanessa regrets meddling with Mandy and Kyle on "Last Man Standing" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

---Carrie interviews a difficult playwright on "The Carrie Di aries" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).

---Business school appeals to Debbie on "The Neighbors" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

---Entrepreneurs pitch a toy subscription service on "Shark Tank" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).


---Elizabeth Berkley, Jeff Wild, Sarah Colonna and Gary Valentine appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).

---Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall and Melissa De Sousa are booked on "The Arsenio Hall Show" (WPMT, WPHL).

---Lady Antebellum appear on "Late Show With David Letter man" (11:35 p.m., CBS).

---Jay Leno welcomes Bill O'Reilly, Guy Fieri and Lee Brice on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).

---Phil McGraw, Erin Andrews and Florida Georgia Line visit "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r).

---Tom Selleck, Jena Malone and Johnny Marr visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).

---Craig Ferguson hosts Summer Glau on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

Kevin McDonough can be reached