SHOWTIME has ordered a third season of the groundbreaking political documentary series THE CIRCUS, returning on April 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME, with a run of new episodes to air in the spring and another in the fall. Hosted by John Heilemann (NBC/MSNBC, Game Change,), Mark McKinnon, and Alex Wagner (CBS News and The Atlantic), who joins the show as a permanent host this season, THE CIRCUS will continue 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 CIRCUS has established itself as a primary source of insightful, comprehensive analysis during major political events,” said David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc. “In these pivotal and turbulent times, we’re so thrilled to have Alex Wagner joining John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon to provide access and context to the personalities and events behind the week’s news.”
THE CIRCUS is produced by Left/Right for SHOWTIME. John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Banks Tarver, and Ken Druckerman serve as executive producers.
Alex Wagner is currently an anchor and correspondent at CBS News, co-anchoring CBS This Morning: Saturday and reporting stories throughout the week. She is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic and co-host of their weekly news and affairs podcast, Radio Atlantic. In April, she will release her first book, Futureface, which examines questions about American identity in the 21st Century. Previously, Alex served as an MSNBC analyst and hosted the Emmy® nominated program NOW with Alex Wagner. She has been a frequent guest host for several political shows, including ALL IN and THE LAST WORD. Before joining MSNBC, Wagner was a reporter with Huffington Post, where she covered innovation in the American economy, investigating the intersection of business, politics, and new technology. Prior to this, she served as the White House correspondent for Politics Daily and the Executive Director of Not on Our Watch, an advocacy and grant-making non-profit focused on combatting genocide and founded by actors George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle.
John Heilemann has covered politics, business, and their intersection for 25 years in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently National Affairs Analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, where he appears regularly on Morning Joe, The Last Word, The 11th Hour, Deadline: White House, and other shows. During the 2016 election cycle, he served as co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and co-host of With All Due Respect on MSNBC and Bloomberg TV. Previously. he was national affairs editor at New York Magazine and a staff writer for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. Heilemann is a co-author of The New York Times No. 1 best sellers Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012. The first Game Change book was adapted into a movie of the same name, which went on to win five Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes®, and a Peabody Award.
Mark McKinnon is a political advisor, reform advocate, media columnist, and television producer. He was the chief media advisor to five successful presidential primary and general election campaigns and is cofounder of No Labels, an organization dedicated to bipartisanship, civil dialogue, and political problem solving. McKinnon has worked for many causes, companies and candidates, including former President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, late Governor Ann Richards and Bono.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon Google, Xbox One and Samsung. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation® Vue and Amazon Channels. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™, and offers Smithsonian Earth™ through SN Digital LLC. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.
Founded by Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman, Left/Right creates premium nonfiction television and film content, notably including the Emmy Award-winning television adaptation of the popular public radio show This American Life, multiple episodes of the acclaimed PBS investigative series Frontline, and Trumped, the documentary film about the 2016 presidential race from the same team behind THE CIRCUS that premiered at Sundance last year. Left/Right is a part of the Red Arrow Entertainment Group), an international production and distribution company.