Showtime’s ‘Circus’ Back On Politics Beat With New Co-Host Alex Wagner

Showtime’s weekly half-hour political docu-series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth returns to the air tonight for its third season. Co-hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon will be joined by new host Alex Wagner, who has replaced Mark Halperin.
The show hit a decidedly uncertain period last October after Halperin was removed amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment spanning several jobs in his political journalism career. The network confirmed…

Showtime’s weekly half-hour political docu-series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth returns to the air tonight for its third season. Co-hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon will be joined by new host Alex Wagner, who has replaced Mark Halperin. The show hit a decidedly uncertain period last October after Halperin was removed amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment spanning several jobs in his political journalism career. The network confirmed…

Showtime Boss David Nevins Says He Was ‘Blindsided’ by Mark Halperin Allegations

Showtime President and CEO David Nevins explained the network’s decision to continue “The Circus” without Mark Halperin on Saturday.

The network announced that the political docuseries would return in April for a third season without Halperin, following the allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against the host back in October.

“I’ve known Mark for many, many years. He’s an old friend, so it was very difficult to be kind of blindsided like that,” Nevins said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday. “Once it became clear, we decided very quickly that it was best that the show continue without him.”

Also Read: Showtime Will Continue ‘The Circus,’ CBS’ Alex Wagner to Replace Mark Halperin

Nevins said he became aware of the allegations in a phone call from Halperin the day before CNN broke the story. At the time, the network was already “in conversation” with “CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Alex Wagner about joining the show for Season 3, reporting alongside John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon.

“No one co-host was irreplaceable,” McKinnon said in an interview with the New York Times. “Everybody said, ‘We want the show to go on.’ We’re going to let the dust settle, and the dust settled.”

Halperin, a veteran political reporter and MSNBC contributor, saw his career implode in October after CNN published multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault while Halperin worked as political director at ABC News more than a decade earlier.

In response, Halperin issued a lengthy statement of apology, saying he was “profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish” caused by his actions.

Also Read: Mark Halperin Dropped From CAA Client List in Wake of Harassment Scandal (Exclusive)

Nevins expanded on Showtime’s response to the Halperin situation and the larger cultural shift in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal later in his panel, listing three things that are within his control as the leader of an organization.

“You’ve got to have the right culture … that’s one,” he said. “Two is diversity and the many forms of that. You’ve got to have an organization that’s really trying to build and foster diversity and makes it comfortable so the best people want to work there. And then the third is to have policies and processes to deal with problems as they come up.”

Nevins and President of Programming Gary Levine said they are proud of the workplace culture that’s been fostered at Showtime, but the network’s productions are “a little bit more arms-length.”

Also Read: Showtime Cuts Ties to Mark Halperin; Future of Political Series ‘The Circus’ in Doubt

Their responsibility moving forward, Nevins said, is to ensure “that everybody knows who to call, when to call and what to do. And that the people in power respond in the smartest, best way possible.”

“There’s been an intensity the last couple of months over these issues. I don’t think of myself as naive, but I also feel somewhat taken aback by some of the intensity and heaviness of this,” Nevins said. “I think it’s really going to be an ongoing process.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Showtime Will Continue ‘The Circus,’ CBS’ Alex Wagner to Replace Mark Halperin

‘Morning Joe’ Co-Host Mika Brzezinski Apologizes to Mark Halperin Accusers

Mark Halperin Dropped From CAA Client List in Wake of Harassment Scandal (Exclusive)

Showtime President and CEO David Nevins explained the network’s decision to continue “The Circus” without Mark Halperin on Saturday.

The network announced that the political docuseries would return in April for a third season without Halperin, following the allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against the host back in October.

“I’ve known Mark for many, many years. He’s an old friend, so it was very difficult to be kind of blindsided like that,” Nevins said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday. “Once it became clear, we decided very quickly that it was best that the show continue without him.”

Nevins said he became aware of the allegations in a phone call from Halperin the day before CNN broke the story. At the time, the network was already “in conversation” with “CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Alex Wagner about joining the show for Season 3, reporting alongside John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon.

“No one co-host was irreplaceable,” McKinnon said in an interview with the New York Times. “Everybody said, ‘We want the show to go on.’ We’re going to let the dust settle, and the dust settled.”

Halperin, a veteran political reporter and MSNBC contributor, saw his career implode in October after CNN published multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault while Halperin worked as political director at ABC News more than a decade earlier.

In response, Halperin issued a lengthy statement of apology, saying he was “profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish” caused by his actions.

Nevins expanded on Showtime’s response to the Halperin situation and the larger cultural shift in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal later in his panel, listing three things that are within his control as the leader of an organization.

“You’ve got to have the right culture … that’s one,” he said. “Two is diversity and the many forms of that. You’ve got to have an organization that’s really trying to build and foster diversity and makes it comfortable so the best people want to work there. And then the third is to have policies and processes to deal with problems as they come up.”

Nevins and President of Programming Gary Levine said they are proud of the workplace culture that’s been fostered at Showtime, but the network’s productions are “a little bit more arms-length.”

Their responsibility moving forward, Nevins said, is to ensure “that everybody knows who to call, when to call and what to do. And that the people in power respond in the smartest, best way possible.”

“There’s been an intensity the last couple of months over these issues. I don’t think of myself as naive, but I also feel somewhat taken aback by some of the intensity and heaviness of this,” Nevins said. “I think it’s really going to be an ongoing process.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Showtime Will Continue 'The Circus,' CBS' Alex Wagner to Replace Mark Halperin

'Morning Joe' Co-Host Mika Brzezinski Apologizes to Mark Halperin Accusers

Mark Halperin Dropped From CAA Client List in Wake of Harassment Scandal (Exclusive)

David Nevins Talks About Being “Blindsided” By Mark Halperin And Volume Of Hollywood Assault Claims – TCA

“I became aware with a phone call from Mark, a day or so before the story broke,” Showtime CEO David Nevins told TV critics at TCA when asked how he became aware of sexual harassment/assault allegations against Showtime’s The Circus EP/co-star Mark Halperin.
“I have known Mark for many years; he is an old friend. That was very difficult to be blindsided by that,” Nevins said during the Showtime exec Q&A on Saturday. “And, once it became clear, we decided quickly the show…

“I became aware with a phone call from Mark, a day or so before the story broke,” Showtime CEO David Nevins told TV critics at TCA when asked how he became aware of sexual harassment/assault allegations against Showtime’s The Circus EP/co-star Mark Halperin. “I have known Mark for many years; he is an old friend. That was very difficult to be blindsided by that,” Nevins said during the Showtime exec Q&A on Saturday. “And, once it became clear, we decided quickly the show…

Showtime’s David Nevins on Firing Mark Halperin From ‘The Circus’

Showtime CEO David Nevins was “blindsided” by sexual-harassment charges against Mark Halperin, executive producer and star of documentary series “The Circus.” “I’ve known Mark for many, many years,” Nevins said Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. “He’s an old friend. It was very difficult to be kind of blindsided by that. […]

Showtime CEO David Nevins was “blindsided” by sexual-harassment charges against Mark Halperin, executive producer and star of documentary series “The Circus.” “I’ve known Mark for many, many years,” Nevins said Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. “He’s an old friend. It was very difficult to be kind of blindsided by that. […]

Showtime Orders Season 3 Of ‘The Circus’ Minus Mark Halperin, Plus Alex Wagner

The Circus has survived. Showtime made it official Wednesday morning,  announcing it had ordered a third season of the docu series, which will be divvied up, so a run of new episodes will air in the spring and another in the fall.
More to the point, John Heilemann is back as host, ditto Mark McKinnon. But Mark Halperin is out, Showtime being among the networks to cut ties to the political pundit after allegations of sexual harassment also cost him his gig at MSNBC.
And Ale…

The Circus has survived. Showtime made it official Wednesday morning,  announcing it had ordered a third season of the docu series, which will be divvied up, so a run of new episodes will air in the spring and another in the fall. More to the point, John Heilemann is back as host, ditto Mark McKinnon. But Mark Halperin is out, Showtime being among the networks to cut ties to the political pundit after allegations of sexual harassment also cost him his gig at MSNBC. And Ale…

Showtime Will Continue ‘The Circus,’ CBS’ Alex Wagner to Replace Mark Halperin

Showtime has decided to move forward with a new season of The Circus. The political series faced an uncertain future after its co-host Mark Halperin was dropped amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The show will move forward with “CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Alex Wagner joining longtime hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon. The news was first reported by the New York Times Tuesday evening.

“No one co-host was irreplaceable,” McKinnon told the Times. “Everybody said, ‘We want the show to go on.’ We’re going to let the dust settle, and the dust settled.”

Also Read: Showtime Cuts Ties to Mark Halperin; Future of Political Series ‘The Circus’ in Doubt

Reps for Showtime did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. The decision roughly tracks a previous statement from the network issued in October saying they were holding out the possibility of continuing the show without Halperin.

New episodes will begin in April.

The veteran political reporter and MSNBC contributor saw his career implode in October after CNN published multiple accounts of sexual harassment and assault, while Halperin worked as political director at ABC News more than a decade earlier.

Also Read: 68 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

In just days, he was dropped from MSNBC, including a very prominent perch at “Morning Joe,” and from “The Circus.” A book deal with Penguin Press was also scuttled.

Halperin has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his public humiliation. His last tweet, a lengthy statement of apology, was on October 27, 2017.

Please read my statement below. pic.twitter.com/8ld8k8DC6O

— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) October 27, 2017

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Morning Joe’ Co-Host Mika Brzezinski Apologizes to Mark Halperin Accusers

Mark Halperin Dropped From CAA Client List in Wake of Harassment Scandal (Exclusive)

Mark Halperin Contract Terminated by NBC News

Showtime Cuts Ties to Mark Halperin; Future of Political Series ‘The Circus’ in Doubt

Showtime has decided to move forward with a new season of The Circus. The political series faced an uncertain future after its co-host Mark Halperin was dropped amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The show will move forward with “CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Alex Wagner joining longtime hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon. The news was first reported by the New York Times Tuesday evening.

“No one co-host was irreplaceable,” McKinnon told the Times. “Everybody said, ‘We want the show to go on.’ We’re going to let the dust settle, and the dust settled.”

Reps for Showtime did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. The decision roughly tracks a previous statement from the network issued in October saying they were holding out the possibility of continuing the show without Halperin.

New episodes will begin in April.

The veteran political reporter and MSNBC contributor saw his career implode in October after CNN published multiple accounts of sexual harassment and assault, while Halperin worked as political director at ABC News more than a decade earlier.

In just days, he was dropped from MSNBC, including a very prominent perch at “Morning Joe,” and from “The Circus.” A book deal with Penguin Press was also scuttled.

Halperin has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his public humiliation. His last tweet, a lengthy statement of apology, was on October 27, 2017.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Morning Joe' Co-Host Mika Brzezinski Apologizes to Mark Halperin Accusers

Mark Halperin Dropped From CAA Client List in Wake of Harassment Scandal (Exclusive)

Mark Halperin Contract Terminated by NBC News

Showtime Cuts Ties to Mark Halperin; Future of Political Series 'The Circus' in Doubt