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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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Tonight (Sunday, October 14, 2018) at 8pm ET/PT, Showtime premieres "California Dreaming," a new episode of THE CIRCUS. Co-hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner journey to California, the heart of the anti-Trump "Resistance" movement. Home to several 2020 presidential hopefuls and more competitive House races than any other state, California is uniquely poised to play an outsized role in this year's midterms -- and Democrats' ongoing efforts to oppose the Trump presidency. Among other key interviews, Heilemann sits down with Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom to discuss his campaign for governor. McKinnon spends time with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) exploring Republican efforts to keep control of the House of Representatives. Wagner attends a town hall with Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal activist calling for the impeachment of President Trump, and talks about the future of the #MeToo movement with Tina Tchen, a founder of Time's Up and former chief of staff to Michelle Obama. McKinnon and Wagner also head to Orange County to cover GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's re-election bid.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Left/Right Productions