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S5

Season 6

Nothing’s left off the table when groundbreaking docu-series The Circus returns for another season of politics, up close and personal. With a seismic shift in the White House, John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner and new co-host Jenn Palmieri bring their unique blend of nuanced perspective and behind-the-scenes access to making sense out of the battles that lie ahead. Can a new administration heal a deeply divided and distrustful nation? The stakes have never been higher.

Reigning Chaos
Episode 1: Reigning Chaos

Original Air Date: Jan 10, 2021

In an extended season premiere, The Circus attempts to make sense of a country reeling from the grave implications of a Capitol siege. Incensed by the final blow of a Democratic controlled Senate, President Trump continues to stoke the political fire as his supporters riot to halt the now-certified Electoral Vote count. Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner and Jenn Palmieri bring their perspective to the unfolding news, exploring the fallout of a turbulent week and the energy surging from the results of the Georgia run-off.

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Clear and Present Danger
Episode 2: Clear and Present Danger

Original Air Date: Jan 17, 2021

At the brink of an historic second impeachment, The Circus delves into the last week in office of a furious, de-platformed President Trump. With last week’s Capitol violence ever relevant, the question remains: will this be a decisive moment for our nation? Alongside social media bans, the hosts explore efforts hindering the rhetoric of Trump and his supporters. John Heilemann speaks with Neil Katyal about the legal implications impeachment brings and Mark McKinnon provides an eye-opening account with Texans still indoctrinated with conspiracy.

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President Biden
Episode 3: President Biden

Original Air Date: Jan 24, 2021

As a new administration takes center stage committed to national unity, The Circus captures the magnitude of an era that has until recently been engulfed in divisiveness. With Joe Biden officially sworn in as 46th President of the United States, the hosts break down the most prominent moments as the country undergoes a transition of power. While Trump departs the White House for the final time as President, former press secretary Hogan Gidley joins Alex Wagner to examine how Trump’s legacy will be evaluated moving forward.

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Rubber Meets Road
Episode 4: Rubber Meets Road

Original Air Date: Jan 31, 2021

In the first full week of a new administration, The Circus offers a window into President Biden’s approach towards tackling the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As the vaccine moves transnationally from shipment to inoculation, the hosts focus on the response at a federal, state & local level. In Los Angeles, John Heilemann speaks with Mayor Eric Garcetti about the status of vaccinations at Dodger Stadium. And from a United Airlines cargo area, Alex Wagner examines exactly what it takes to securely transport the vaccines.

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Dysfunction Junction
Episode 5: Dysfunction Junction

Original Air Date: Feb 7, 2021

In a chaotic week, The Circus takes the pulse of a Republican Party at war with itself. Still dominated by the postures of its predecessor, the hosts speak with both ends of the GOP spectrum, zeroing in on a party in the post-Trump era facing incessantly erratic claims from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green. John Heilemann sits down with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of few Republicans backing the impeachment of Donald Trump, while Jenn Palmieri addresses growing fears for personal safety on the Hill with Green's fellow Georgia Rep. Nikema Williams.

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Persona Non Grata
Episode 6: Persona Non Grata

Original Air Date: Feb 14, 2021

The Circus focuses on the historic second impeachment trial of Donald Trump as the Senate faces a decisive moment and questions the former President’s culpability in the January 6th Capitol siege. Still outraged by the violence, Sen. Michael Bennett joins John Heilemann for a look at preparation for the trial and Alex Wagner speaks with an attorney planning to use Trump’s incitement in defense of his insurrectionist client. Elsewhere, the hosts take a glimpse at Mar-a-Lago, where locals are at odds about Trump’s presence in their community.

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Being Green
Episode 7: Being Green

Original Air Date: Feb 21, 2021

The Circus shifts its focus onto an administration fresh off implementing a series of ambitious climate motions. With several early executive actions in place, how is President Biden filtering jobs into his climate agenda moving forward? In Minnesota, where construction of the Enbridge Pipeline is sparking controversy, Alex Wagner speaks with indigenous protesters along with Rep. Ihan Omar. And Mark McKinnon takes a spin in a new electric car from Ford, a company that has pledged fully electric emissions by 2030.

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Points on the Board
Episode 8: Points on the Board

Original Air Date: Feb 28, 2021

The Circus keys in on the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. As Republicans scrutinize, the question remains: can centrists come together to pass the bill as the US surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 deaths? From the White House perspective, Jenn Palmieri sits with Communications Director Kate Bedingfield and John Heilemann interviews bill author Brian Deese and Domestic Policy Director Susan Rice. And exploring how the package is viewed among conservatives, Mark McKinnon speaks with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. Mid-season finale.

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Calling the Shots
Episode 9: Calling the Shots

Original Air Date: Sep 19, 2021

The Circus returns and while the weather may be cooling down, the temperature around the country is still overheated. As Gavin Newsom fights off an anti-vax motivated recall election in California, Asa Hutchinson tries to thread a needle by fighting the pandemic in Arkansas without resorting to a mandate. Meanwhile, Washington fears another incursion from January 6th insurrectionists galvanized by recent vaccine mandates. With the culture war still very much alive, will President Biden be able to heal the country’s political divisions?

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The Biden Doctrine
Episode 10: The Biden Doctrine

Original Air Date: Sep 26, 2021

Against the backdrop of President Biden’s powerful speech to the UN, The Circus focuses on his administration’s approach to foreign policy. With a new defense arrangement announced between the US, UK and Australia, Jenn Palmieri speaks with former Aussie PM Julia Gillard in London. In the wake of ongoing turbulence in Afghanistan, John Heilemann examines the refugee crisis with IRC head David Miliband and Alex Wagner speaks with families in Richmond, Virginia, home to a significant refugee community.

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It’s All Happening
Episode 11: It’s All Happening

Original Air Date: Oct 3, 2021

The Circus heads to Capitol Hill for the fierce battle over President Biden's legacy-defining agenda. With Democrats at odds over massive infrastructure and social spending bills, John Heilemann goes behind the scenes with the leader of the House moderates, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, while Alex Wagner speaks with the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Neither side is backing down in the fight over how to achieve President Biden's transformative agenda.

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Lone Star Blues
Episode 12: Lone Star Blues

Original Air Date: Oct 10, 2021

The Circus heads to Texas, home to the nation's most restrictive abortion law, a controversial new voting law and a red-hot immigration battle. Alex Wagner speaks with Planned Parenthood about the new law’s impact on women across the state. Jennifer Palmieri talks with Bryan Hughes, author of both the abortion and voting laws. John Heilemann sits down with former Bush aide Matthew Dowd, who’s running for Lt. Governor as a Democrat. And Mark McKinnon heads to the border where Governor Abbott is announcing a new plan to address the crisis.

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Coup II
Episode 13: Coup II

Original Air Date: Oct 17, 2021

The Circus examines the threat to American democracy posed by Trump's ‘Big Lie’ as it fuels election audits, changes to state voting laws and an attempted party purge of disloyal Republicans. John Heilemann interviews Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection; Alex Wagner sits down with foreign affairs specialist Fiona Hill to discuss the threats to America; Jen Palmieri speaks with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson; and Mark McKinnon talks with Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt.

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Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth - 614
Episode 14: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth - 614

Original Air Date: Oct 24, 2021

Groundbreaking docu-series pulls back the curtain on American politics. Hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner and Jenn Palmieri go behind the scenes of the greatest political show on earth for an unbiased, inside look at the stories beyond the headlines.

6 Seasons, 100 Episodes

previous
  • 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

    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
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