Season 4

The Circus ventures behind the scenes in Washington and beyond, exploring the shifting power dynamics on Capitol Hill as Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, along with covering the escalating drama around President Donald Trump's White House as it grapples with mounting legal entanglements and continued scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
New World Disorder
Episode 1: New World Disorder

Original Air Date: Jan 27, 2019

On the season premiere of The Circus, it's a new world order in Washington as a Democratic majority in the House puts a check on the Trump presidency. The second half of his term has begun with total gridlock, a government shutdown, and federal workers lining up for free hot meals. Is this the new normal? Meanwhile, freshmen representatives are putting a new face on Congress—and introducing a new reality, and the investigation of Trump takes a surprising turn in the wake of Michael Cohen postponing his congressional testimony.

Circling Vultures
Episode 2: Circling Vultures

Original Air Date: Feb 3, 2019

The list of former allies who are turning on Donald Trump grows daily, the Mueller investigation continues to circle him and the Democrats have been unrelenting in their attacks. The President’s increasing vulnerability has led to a bumper crop of potential 2020 challengers, all of whom are hoping to be the one to unseat him.

The State of Our Union Is...
Episode 3: The State of Our Union Is...

Original Air Date: Feb 10, 2019

As President Trump toys with declaring a state of emergency in order to be able to begin construction of his border wall, his administration is in the spotlight. The House Intelligence Committee is ramping up investigations of Trump on multiple fronts, and is collaborating with Robert Mueller's team.

2020 Is Here
Episode 4: 2020 Is Here

Original Air Date: Feb 17, 2019

The 2020 election is looming large in the capital. Campaign season is here early and more and more candidates are jumping in each week. THE CIRCUS follows declared and potential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke at the top of the week, and tracks ongoing news of the potential government shutdown, the border wall battle, and the Green New Deal back in D.C.

States of Emergency
Episode 5: States of Emergency

Original Air Date: Feb 24, 2019

What exactly constitutes a national emergency? For President Trump, it is clearly securing the U.S. southern border. But others have very different ideas, including gun violence, the opioid crisis and climate change, to name a few. This week THE CIRCUS compares and contrasts various perceived national emergencies and covers people on the front lines of each one.

The Big Split
Episode 6: The Big Split

Original Air Date: Mar 3, 2019

It's an action-packed week for President Trump on two fronts, creating a split-screen effect for the American people. On one hand, the President travels to Vietnam to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and have a big moment on the world stage. On the other hand, the President's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testifies before Congress about potential presidential dirt he may have. Emily Jane Fox, a reporter for Vanity Fair who has been following Cohen, joins the hosts this week to help cover the hearings.

To the Left
Episode 7: To the Left

Original Air Date: Mar 10, 2019

THE CIRCUS takes a deep dive into the Democratic party. There is a reckoning going on about the party's future. On one hand, there is a movement to tack left towards more progressive policies, a strategy that proved effective in 2018 elections. On the other, many feel that the best way to convert Trump voters in 2020 is to move towards the center. That was Bill Clinton's winning strategy in 1992, after the Democrats had failed to win the presidency repeatedly with more progressive candidates. The question is, are we in a new world now, or not?

What the F*** Happens Next?
Episode 8: What the F*** Happens Next?

Original Air Date: Mar 17, 2019

Donald Trump is currently engaged in a three-front war over the future of his presidency. The first battle is with Congress, where he is facing a rebuke from both sides of the aisle over his national emergency declaration. The second focusses on the 2020 election, as two potential game-changing Democratic challengers—Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke—weigh Presidential bids. Trump's final battle on the legal front anticipates the release of the Mueller report, just as his known associates Paul Manafort and Roger Stone face lengthy prison time.

The People on That Stage
Episode 9: The People on That Stage

Original Air Date: Sep 22, 2019

The Circus returns with an update on where things stand in the 2020 presidential race. On the Democratic side, the three leading candidates — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — are crisscrossing the country trying to get their message across, while the party as a whole is debating what it will take to beat Trump. Meanwhile, the President has an unprecedented number of Republican primary challengers to contend with, which could have an impact on his election strategy.

Across the Rubicon
Episode 10: Across the Rubicon

Original Air Date: Sep 29, 2019

The Circus tackles the launch of an official impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. As news roils the capital and the entire nation, the hosts track down Democratic congressional leaders, members of the House Intelligence Committee, and prominent Republicans in a momentous week for both sides of the political aisle.

Episode 11: Impeachmentland

Original Air Date: Oct 6, 2019

The Circus fans out across the country to cover the rapidly-evolving impeachment story through the lens of 2020 presidential campaigns. Meanwhile, in the capital, the hosts track breaking news developments as the White House and others react to the impeachment inquiry and findings thus far. And as members of Congress return to their districts for the fall recess, The Circus attends their town hall meetings with constituents to capture voter reactions.

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Episode 12: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Original Air Date: Oct 13, 2019

How are key players responding to these desperate times? The President seems to have crafted his defense of the impeachment inquiry, and he's pushing it forcefully. The whistleblowers risked their careers to come forward, can they be protected? And the lower-tier 2020 Democratic candidates must fight even harder to be heard over the tidal wave of impeachment news, while Joe Biden faces a critical test of his candidacy. Special guest Jennifer Palmieri, a veteran of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Bill Clinton White House, joins the hosts.

The Widening Gyre
Episode 13: The Widening Gyre

Original Air Date: Oct 20, 2019

With Congress back in session after a two-week recess, everyone in the capital seems to be in fighting mode. Democrats are pursuing the impeachment inquiry at an aggressive pace, and members of Congress from both parties weigh in about the closed-door hearings. The President and his Republican supporters loudly defend his actions in both Ukraine and Syria. And the Democratic 2020 contenders participated in a heated debate in which everyone tried hard to differentiate themselves and be heard above the fray.

The Deep State
Episode 14: The Deep State

Original Air Date: Oct 27, 2019

The Circus does a deep dive into the longtime federal government agencies and bureaucrats involved in Congress’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, otherwise dubbed by President Trump as the "deep state.”

Field of Dreams
Episode 15: Field of Dreams

Original Air Date: Nov 3, 2019

The Circus is in Iowa for the all-important Liberty and Justice Celebration, aka Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where past Presidential winners like Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter have broken out from tight races. The hosts go behind the scenes of 2020 Democratic candidates’ campaigns to evaluate their infrastructure and strategy for the event. Will there be a breakout star this time around?

Here Be Dragons
Episode 16: Here Be Dragons

Original Air Date: Nov 10, 2019

The impeachment inquiry is on the brink of a new, uncharted phase with the onset of public hearings. The Circus analyzes potential outcomes of the impeachment inquiry by taking the pulse of Congress members, Presidential campaigns, and Trump loyalists who are all set to be impacted by public testimony. Season finale


8 Seasons, 125 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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