Season 1

The Circus captures the human rollercoaster of the 2016 presidential campaign from the Iowa caucuses through the election itself, profiling the people and events that are shaping the races in real time, as they are happening. Produced in cooperation with Bloomberg Politics.
The Outsiders
Episode 1: The Outsiders

Original Air Date: Jan 17, 2016

The campaigns of three "outsiders" - Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump - are given behind-the-scenes attention on the road to the Iowa caucus. Series premiere.

Prisoner's Dilemma
Episode 2: Prisoner's Dilemma

Original Air Date: Jan 24, 2016

The second episode follows Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. John Kasich as they prepare for the all-important, first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire.

Tension City
Episode 3: Tension City

Original Air Date: Jan 31, 2016

This episode follows the angst and drama leading up to the Iowa caucuses, with a showdown brewing between Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and the GOP's first real test of outsider candidates versus the establishment.

The Big Mo
Episode 4: The Big Mo

Original Air Date: Feb 7, 2016

The fourth episode goes inside the Iowa fallout and the momentum leading into New Hampshire's primary. Who's got it? Who doesn't? And how can the Clinton and Trump campaigns pick up the pace to beat back the surge of Sanders and Cruz?

The Winnowing
Episode 5: The Winnowing

Original Air Date: Feb 14, 2016

From the electric jolt of New Hampshire to the hard truths coming up in South Carolina and Nevada. Trump tastes victory, Kasich picks up momentum - and Bush faces the prospect of an impending do-or-die reality.

Fear and Loathing
Episode 6: Fear and Loathing

Original Air Date: Feb 21, 2016

As the campaigns head towards the final stretch leading to Nevada and South Carolina, there's growing anxiety among both frontrunners and stragglers about just how high the stakes are - and the significance of falling behind.

Confidence Game
Episode 7: Confidence Game

Original Air Date: Feb 28, 2016

With the field narrowed down to The Big Five, the campaigns spread their game across the country and play to their strengths - with eyes squarely focused on the all-important upcoming prize: Super Tuesday.

The Reckoning
Episode 8: The Reckoning

Original Air Date: Mar 6, 2016

With big wins for the frontrunners on Super Tuesday the rest of candidates are reckoning with the results. But the biggest story of all might be one both Democratic and Republican establishments can agree on: how do they stop Trump?

Dead or Alive
Episode 9: Dead or Alive

Original Air Date: Mar 13, 2016

It's make or break time for Rubio, Kasich and Sanders. As the candidates pin their hopes on Florida and Ohio, can they gather enough momentum to force a brokered convention - or will their campaigns finally run out of steam?

High Hopes
Episode 10: High Hopes

Original Air Date: Mar 20, 2016

While Rubio gets trumped in Florida, the rest of the candidates remain cautiously optimistic. But are high hopes what they need to pull off a win and secure the nomination - or are they just delusional?

Home And Abroad
Episode 11: Home And Abroad

Original Air Date: Mar 27, 2016

Foreign policy comes to the fore as the political climate grows fiery in the wake of the attacks in Brussels. As Trump and Clinton prepare to square off, can either of them prove their presidential mettle in handling the heat?

On Wisconsin
Episode 12: On Wisconsin

Original Air Date: Apr 3, 2016

Ahead of a Wisconsin showdown the candidates crisscross the state in pursuit of competing agendas. Can Kasich, Cruz or Sanders secure their position as spoilers - or will Clinton and Trump finally be crowned their party's Big Cheese?

Circus Recap
Episode 13: Circus Recap

Original Air Date: Apr 10, 2016

From the early primary battles to the Super Tuesday showdown and beyond, pull back the curtain on the 2016 presidential race with Mark Halperin, John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon - and catch up on the electrifying first twelve weeks.

Game On
Episode 14: Game On

Original Air Date: Jul 10, 2016

While the nation celebrates July 4th, 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.

Episode 15: Veepstakes

Original Air Date: Jul 17, 2016

No president is complete without a veep. As Trump auditions Chris Christie, Mike Pence and Newt Gingrich and Clinton considers Tim Kaine, can the candidates find the right-hand man for the job who will make, not break, their campaign?

Trump Show
Episode 16: Trump Show

Original Air Date: Jul 24, 2016

The political circus goes into overdrive as Trump is crowned the Republican nominee - and Melania, controversially, speaks! Capitalizing on his children to help humanize his image, can Trump plus Pence finally rally a unified party?

In the Arena
Episode 17: In the Arena

Original Air Date: Jul 31, 2016

The jeers and boos of Sanders diehards ring out in Philadelphia, before the Democrats at last make Hillary a historic nominee. But is shattering a glass ceiling enough for Clinton and Kaine to unite the party into a winning coalition?

Closing the Gap
Episode 18: Closing the Gap

Original Air Date: Sep 11, 2016

With ten weeks to go until the election the Trump campaign finds itself running from behind. As members of his party start to publicly jump ship, can Trump find a way to close the gap with Clinton or will he just fall further behind?

Fit To Serve
Episode 19: Fit To Serve

Original Air Date: Sep 18, 2016

With revelations of Clinton's pneumonia and scrutiny surrounding Trump's medical records, the question of their fitness to lead takes a physical turn. As both campaigns try to punt the issue can the seconds-in-command handle the heat?

Episode 20: Battleground

Original Air Date: Sep 25, 2016

As Clinton and Trump prepare for the first of their debates, the campaigns target a handful of states that could swing the election. But in the must-win battleground of Florida can either candidate work out a path to gaining the edge?

The Newsrooms
Episode 21: The Newsrooms

Original Air Date: Oct 2, 2016

From debate prep to the big night and the flaps that follow, the script gets flipped as the candidates cede the spotlight to an inside peek into the days and nights of the people who broadcast the news and cover the political sphere.

Tale of the Tape
Episode 22: Tale of the Tape

Original Air Date: Oct 16, 2016

Tracking the fallout from the second debate and the scandal surrounding a now-infamous audio tape, could this be the final nail in Trump's campaign coffin - or can he pull off a surprise October Surprise to rally yet another comeback?

From Russia with Love
Episode 23: From Russia with Love

Original Air Date: Oct 23, 2016

Amid claims of foreign intervention, international espionage and widespread hacking, Clinton faces what might turn out to be her toughest opponent to date: WikiLeaks, and the trove of highly sensitive, private emails it's made public.

His Word as a Biden
Episode 24: His Word as a Biden

Original Air Date: Oct 30, 2016

The final two-week push going into the election sees the full weight of the White House come out in force for Clinton's campaign, including one man who has the potential to swing those states still up for grabs: Joe Biden.

Nobody F***ing Knows
Episode 25: Nobody F***ing Knows

Original Air Date: Nov 6, 2016

Clinton in Arizona? Trump in Washington? As different polls predict differing outcomes both campaigns make a case in far-fetched battlegrounds. In a race that's either up for grabs or already decided, hope, it seems, springs eternal.

President Trump
Episode 26: President Trump

Original Air Date: Nov 13, 2016

In a special hour-long episode of the real-time documentary series, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon go behind the scenes of both campaigns in the lead up to Election Day - and the fallout that followed. Series finale.


8 Seasons, 130 Episodes

  • Season 8

    The Circus pulls back the curtain on a new season of politics without precedent. Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Jenn Palmieri go beyond the headlines for an informative, inside look at the political spectacle and the issues impacting us all.

    Season 8
  • Season 7

    The Circus returns for a close-up look at the uncertain state of our union. Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Jenn Palmieri go beyond the headlines of today’s biggest news stories to examine the issues impacting us all.

    Season 7
  • Season 6

    With a seismic shift in the White House, can a new administration heal a deeply divided and distrustful nation? The Circus brings its unique blend of nuanced perspective and behind-the-scenes access to making sense out of the battles that lie ahead.

    Season 6
  • Season 5

    The stakes have never been higher as The Circus goes behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential election. Balancing left, right and center with in-depth analysis, it's the weekly perspective on the political free-for-all you won't find anywhere else.

    Season 5
  • Season 4

    The Circus explores the shifting power dynamics on Capitol Hill as Democrats take control of the House, and covers the escalating drama around President Trump's legal entanglements and continued scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Season 4
  • Season 3

    The Circus goes behind the scenes and beyond the headlines of the wildest political show on earth, revealing the high-stakes impact of the White House's headline grabbing dramatics throughout our divided states of America.

    Season 3
  • Season 2

    The Circus examines the unprecedented events unfolding – both inside and outside the beltway – in President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

    Season 2
  • Season 1

    The Circus captures the human rollercoaster of the 2016 presidential campaign from the Iowa caucuses through the election itself.

    Season 1

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