Showtime’s News and Documentary Emmy-nominated series “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth” will return for Season 8 on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, TheWrap can exclusively announce. The docuseries will be back with six more episodes featuring hosts John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Jennifer Palmieri as they pull back the curtain on this extraordinarily fractured and volatile moment for American democracy.
Season 8 will hit the ground running in 2023 to examine a new era of divided government as President Joe Biden braces for withering GOP-led House investigations, per the network’s logline. Meanwhile bitter divisions among Republicans signal a tumultuous year ahead for the party and the nation. And while Biden mulls a bid for reelection amid questions about his mishandling of classified documents, former President Donald Trump is facing multiple investigations of his own, as well as staring down a list of
potential Republican challengers, in his third run for the White House.
Heilemann is a co-founder of the video journalism company Recount Media and executive editor of its site The Recount, as well as the host of its “Hell & High Water” podcast. He is a national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, where he appears regularly on “Morning Joe,” “Deadline: White House,” “The Last Word” and other programs. Alongside Mark Halperin, Heilemann is also co-author of the New York Times No. 1 bestsellers “Game Change” and “Double Down,” about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, respectively. “Game Change” was adapted into a TV film of the same name starring Julianne Moore, Ed Harris and Woody Harrelson, and won five Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes and a Peabody Award.
McKinnon is a political strategist, reform advocate, media columnist and television producer. He was the chief media adviser 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 George W. Bush, John McCain, Texas Gov. Ann Richards and Bono.
Palmieri was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and White House communications director for Obama. She is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, “Dear Madam President,” as well as “She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World.”
“With seven seasons under our belt, The Circus knows a circus when it sees one,” Heilemann said in a statement. “And with House Republicans threatening to crash the economy over the debt ceiling, Joe Biden being investigated alongside Donald Trump for mishandling classified material, and the GOP forming a circular firing squad to pick its 2024 presidential nominee, a circus is exactly what The Circus will be covering in Season 8, the same way we always do: by pulling back the curtain on the high human drama and absurdist comedy of American politics at a time when the tumult, divisiveness, and flat-out lunacy — not to mention the stakes for the country and indeed the world — have rarely been higher. In other words: Let it rip!”
“The Circus” is produced by Left/Right for Showtime. Heilemann, McKinnon and Palmieri are executive producers along with Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Tom Johnson and Divya Chungi.