‘The Circus’ Returns on Showtime to Cover Trump, 2020 Election
“We are not like any other political show on television…”
“The Circus” first premiered in 2016 as a docu-series on Showtime to follow the historic presidential campaign then. It’s now entering its fourth season, following the penultimate year of President Donald Trump’s first term as president and the looming 2020 election.
With its tagline “Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth”, the show has had plenty of material to draw from. For its second season in 2017, it focused on President Trump’s first 100 days in office, and in April 2018, its third season focused on the mid-term elections.
Now that the 2020 election is just around the corner, the show promises to cover plenty of the lead-up to that race in its new season that premiered Sunday.
According to producer John Heilemann, the show captures the U.S. public’s increasing interest in politics, ignited by the polarizing Trump presidency. It’s obvious that citizens are more involved and passionate than ever.
In fact, the show was initially created for the sole purpose of following the 2016 presidential campaign, but the level of interest in politics increased so much during Trump’s administration that the docu-series expanded to cover it.
“People are super-interested in what’s going on across the ideological spectrum — whether you’re a Trump supporter or somewhere in between,” said producer Mark McKinnon.
Each season has multiple 30-minute episodes, ranging from eight to twenty-six total in the first season. Each episode covers a week of events that have transpired in the political world—a condensed version of the news, essentially, the producers explained.
“We are not like any other political show on television,” insisted producer Alex Wagner. Unlike the news, Wagner feels that they’re “one of the only places that goes into the field with the candidates behind the scenes to show people what’s actually happening in American politics.”
The producers also assert that they don’t allow their political bias to influence the program, but base it on what’s making the most news and influence in general. With decades of experience covering campaigns, producer McKinnon assures that they are aiming for fairness in their depiction that holds up a mirror to our culture first and foremost.
The fourth season of “The Circus” premiered Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime.