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The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth

The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth

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  • Premiered: 
    January 17, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Political
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Plot Synopsis

THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH is a weekly half-hour documentary series that features Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and political consultant Mark McKinnon revealing the intense, irreverent, inspiring and infuriating stories behind the headlines of the 2016 presidential race in the United States. This real-time documentary series follows multiple individual stories and key characters from the campaigns and captures their unique perspectives between January and November. With intimate, behind-the-scenes access, cameras also offer viewers a look at what the public rarely sees and explore the high human drama inherent in the pursuit of the Oval Office. After a three-month break, THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH returned with new episodes on Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT on Showtime. While the nation celebrates July 4, Trump and Clinton engage in their own fireworks. With the reemergence of Clinton's email scandal and Trump's latest faux pas, the titans go on the attack to take each other down. Season 2 of THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH premiered on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT on Showtime. The new season examines the riveting and unprecedented events unfolding -- both inside and outside the Beltway -- in President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. THE CIRCUS is hosted by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, with Mark McKinnon returning in a producing role with occasional guest appearances. The real-time documentary series follows the circus of American politics, political culture and government -- capturing pivotal moments, featuring interviews with key figures, and offering critical analysis of the stories behind each week's headlines. he third season of THE CIRCUS returned on April 15, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT on Showtime, with a run of new episodes to air in the spring and another in the fall. Hosted by John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, and Alex Wagner, who joins the show as a permanent host this season, THE CIRCUS continues to provide viewers with the same fast-paced, real-time, backstage perspective and eye-catching production qualities for which the show has been celebrated. In the year ahead, the series will explore the stories behind the headlines and pull back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes drama unfolding in Washington and across the country in the run-up to the most consequential mid-term elections in our lifetimes. The new season will once again take its cue from the narratives driving the national conversation from the White House to Congress to the fast-approaching, high-stakes mid-terms. The series follows the "circus" of American politics, society, and culture, capturing key moments, featuring interviews with newsmakers, and offering critical analysis of the stories driving the non-stop news cycle. The Season 3 fall premiere debuted Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT on Showtime. With the Trump presidency facing an onslaught of new legal woes, Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolina coast and the midterm elections looming, this episode features co-host John Heilemann's one-on-one interview with controversial former Trump strategist Steve Bannon in advance of the release of Bannon's inflammatory new documentary. Meanwhile, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner enter the war rooms of the Republican and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees to hear each side's strategy for the upcoming midterm battle. THE CIRCUS follows the latest turns in the Mueller investigation, including explosive developments regarding former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, and covers the heated fight over Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation. Plus, prominent political strategist and commentator Steve Schmidt joins THE CIRCUS as a recurring on-air contributor.
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THE CIRCUS concludes its third season on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT with an hour-long finale, crisscrossing the nation to capture the final hours of America's most consequential midterm election and the earth-shattering aftermath of President Trump's ouster of his attorney general. In an episode titled "Mother(f***er) of All Midterms," co-hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner, along with contributor Steve Schmidt, fan out across the country to follow more than a dozen candidates for House, Senate and governor during a week that will change the course of history. Leading up to Election Day, McKinnon follows key Senate campaigns, Wagner tracks important House campaigns and Schmidt covers candidates for governor in battleground states. Heilemann also embarks on a seven-state road trip, checking in with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's House race in New York, Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Senate race in Texas, and celebrity surrogates Dave Chappelle and Rosario Dawson as they stump for Ben Jealous, a candidate for governor in Maryland. As the returns trickle in Tuesday night, McKinnon is outside the White House when presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway talks to the press. Meanwhile, THE CIRCUS embeds with campaign watch parties in Florida and Texas. Following President Trump's removal of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Wagner also meets up with Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, to discuss the future of the Mueller probe and expected Democratic-led investigations into the president.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Left/Right Productions