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The Runner-Up

The Runner-Up

Photo Credit:  Lightbox Entertainment
  • Premiered: 
    April 7, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Esquire
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Political
  • Tags: celebrity

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

No DVDs Available
(That We Know Of)
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(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

THE RUNNER-UP is a four-hour documentary series that takes an all-access look at the campaign of AMERICAN IDOL runner-up Clay Aiken to represent North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District -- from his candidacy decision through the shocking primary election (which ended in the death of Aiken's Democratic opponent), and his defeat this past November to incumbent Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. This series examines what it takes to run a campaign from the perspective of a candidate who is both a newcomer to the American political scene and also a well-known celebrity. But the with help of his campaign director Tucker Middleton, campaign manager Ellen Zeng and finance director Nick Leisey, Aiken works through strategy sessions, preps for debates and meets with voters via town halls, bus tours and door-to-door canvassing. Throughout the process, Aiken, a gay Democrat and single father, struggles with his desire to be seen as a viable candidate and his need to convince voters to take him seriously.
On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT, Esquire Network premiered the season finale of THE RUNNER-UP. In the season ender, "I Approve This Message," Clay pays the price when he releases a negative television ad, forcing him to make a last-minute push for votes on election day.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Lightbox Entertainment


  • - North Carolina USA