S2

Season 3

Political insiders John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner take you behind the scenes and beyond the headlines of the wildest political show on earth. With an embattled White House and its headline grabbing dramatics, this real-time documentary series covers the inside story from every angle, revealing the high-stakes impact throughout our divided states of America.

The Looking Glass War
Episode 1: The Looking Glass War

Original Air Date: Apr 15, 2018

The United States and Russia are locked in a dangerous new standoff. From Facebook and meddling in the 2016 election, to alleged poisoning attacks, to the war in Syria, Russia is the dominant force in our news cycle. John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and new host Alex Wagner examine America’s new Cold War with Russia and where it’s leading. Season Premiere.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Too Many Lawyers
Episode 2: Too Many Lawyers

Original Air Date: Apr 22, 2018

An ever-growing swirl of legal entanglements continues to surround President Trump. From the ongoing Mueller investigation to the Michael Cohen raid and subsequent hearing, and James Comey's inflammatory book, the Trump presidency is under siege. John Heillman interviews Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, John and Alex Wagner have a colorful dialog with legal heavyweight and Trump supporter Alan Dershowitz, and Mark McKinnon sits down with former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Man of the World
Episode 3: Man of the World

Original Air Date: Apr 29, 2018

As Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State clears a Senate hurdle, official visits from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel command the administration's attention. John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon sit down with Wendy Sherman, lead negotiator behind the Iran nuclear deal. Plus, Alex Wagner interviews imam Dr. Ismail Elshikh, the plaintiff behind the travel-ban challenge.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Trump Country
Episode 4: Trump Country

Original Air Date: May 6, 2018

The Circus goes on the road to Trump country to take the nation's temperature on the president's performance, how the midterm elections are shaping up, and where the two sides currently stand on gun control. John Heilemann catches up with Mitt Romney about his Utah senate campaign, Mark McKinnon interviews Randy "Iron Stache" Bryce in Wisconsin about his bid to turn Paul Ryan's district Democratic, and Alex Wagner travels to Texas for a sit-down with Beto O'Rourke on his surprisingly close race to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
War and Peace
Episode 5: War and Peace

Original Air Date: May 13, 2018

The gloves are off as Donald Trump fights a 360-degree battle to keep the presidency. He's taking shots at those who stand to threaten it, and is at war against the "deep state" of the FBI, CIA, and the Department of Justice. Stories covered include Michael Cohen's connection to a Russian oligarch, Trump's attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation, the scuttling of the Iran deal, and the Senate confirmation hearing for Trump's controversial CIA Director pick, Gina Haspel.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Their Brand is Crisis
Episode 6: Their Brand is Crisis

Original Air Date: May 20, 2018

The Trump administration has had to contend with an unprecedented number of crises, and spinning them is an ongoing preoccupation. In this era of splintered news media, how do you get the right message to the right people, and still stay on course? Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie discusses trying to govern during a PR crisis, Steve Brill hosts an Axios event on combatting fake news, and Steve Schmidt and Mark Fabiani, Bill Clinton's advisor during the Whitewater scandal, both weigh in on how this White House is managing crises.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
The Gathering Storm
Episode 7: The Gathering Storm

Original Air Date: Sep 16, 2018

With the looming midterm elections, the Trump presidency under relentless siege, and Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolina coast, Washington has a lot on its collective plate. Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner visit the democratic and republican war rooms respectively, and learn what each camp is doing to secure the majority in the House. John Heilemann interviews Steve Bannon and takes a tour of Breitbart, all in advance of the release of Bannon's inflammatory new documentary.

STREAM THIS EPISODE Watch Episode for Free
Burden of Proof
Episode 8: Burden of Proof

Original Air Date: Sep 23, 2018

As Republicans and Democrats play a dramatic game of chess in the wake of the assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, all eyes are on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Parallels are drawn between the current showdown and the Anita Hill hearing in 1991, and recurring contributor Steve Schmidt gives context to the Trump administration's response, given his experience working to confirm Supreme Court nominees for previous Republican administrations.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Judgment Day
Episode 9: Judgment Day

Original Air Date: Sep 30, 2018

The focus remains tightly on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the future of U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein notwithstanding. As legions of outspoken critics and fans of Judge Kavanaugh vie for attention on Capitol Hill, and allegations of sexual misconduct continue to surface, the temperature in the capital climbs steadily upward. For much of the week John Heilemann is embedded with attorney Michael Avenatti, who may just have the most explosive revelations of all.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
The Verdict
Episode 10: The Verdict

Original Air Date: Oct 7, 2018

The emphasis remains squarely on the constantly-evolving story of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. But as the midterm elections draw nearer, hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner and guest commentator Steve Schmidt delve into the ramifications of the confirmation's outcome on various Senate races around the country. Republicans and Democrats are riled up about this issue, and in states where the polls are close, Senate races could be affected by how the incumbents vote.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
California Dreaming
Episode 11: California Dreaming

Original Air Date: Oct 14, 2018

In the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation, The Circus travels to California to take the temperature of the political and policy resistance to the Trump administration. With almost a dozen house seats currently held by Republicans in serious contention, any potential blue wave in the midterm elections will begin here. The hosts interview key players from across the political spectrum to determine the current state of California politics, how they got where they are, and where they are headed.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Senatorial Combat
Episode 12: Senatorial Combat

Original Air Date: Oct 21, 2018

As the battle for the Senate heats up with post-Kavanaugh polls forecasting a Republican resurgence, The Circus travels the country charting the shifting dynamics in three of the closest races - each considered a must-win if Democrats hope to gain the majority. In Arizona, it's neck and neck between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally; in Nevada, Jacky Rosen digs deep to take on incumbent Dean Heller; plus, a sit-down with North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, who's fighting for her political life in the wake of a campaign ad controversy.

STREAM THIS EPISODE
Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: 313
Episode 13: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: 313

Original Air Date: Oct 28, 2018

Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner dive deep into the biggest political stories of the week.

3 Seasons, 47 Episodes

previous
  • Season 3

    Go behind the scenes and beyond the headlines of the wildest political show on earth. This documentary series reveals the high-stakes impact of the White House's headline grabbing dramatics throughout our divided states of America.

    Season 3
  • Season 2

    THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE BIGGEST STORY ON EARTH examines the riveting and unprecedented events unfolding – both inside and outside the beltway – in President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

    Season 2
  • Season 1

    From the Iowa caucuses through the election itself, THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH captures the human rollercoaster of the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Season 1
next

The Entire Showtime Library

Series

Series

Movies

Movies

Sports

Sports

Documentaries

Documentaries

Comedy

Comedy

GET FULL ACCESS TO SHOWTIME

Stream SHOWTIME series, movies, documentaries, sports and much more all on your favorite devices.

Gear From All Your Showtime Favorites In One Place. Shop Now.