Press release from Showtime, Sept. 13, 2018:
Today, SHOWTIME announced that prominent political strategist and commentator Steve Schmidt will join the network’s heralded weekly political docuseries THE CIRCUS as a recurring on-air contributor when the show returns on Sunday, September 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Schmidt has made previous appearances on THE CIRCUS, offering trenchant insight based on his more than two decades working at the highest levels of national Republican politics. In the show’s fall run, Schmidt will join hosts John Heilemann, Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon as they crisscross the country covering the most high-stakes midterm elections in modern history – with titanic implications for the presidency of Donald Trump.
Over 20-plus years in the political game, Schmidt earned a reputation as one of the most successful strategists of his generation, playing pivotal roles on the campaign teams of Arizona Senator John McCain, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President George W. Bush, whom he also served in the White House. Since Trump’s election in 2016, Schmidt – now an NBC News and MSNBC political analyst and co-host of the new podcast Words Matter – has emerged as one of the strongest and most influential voices on American and global current affairs. A lifelong Republican, Schmidt recently made headlines by renouncing the GOP and registering as an independent.
This fall, THE CIRCUS returns to its roots on the campaign trail, following House, Senate and gubernatorial contests from coast to coast – as well as the ongoing upheaval of the Trump administration. With its signature cinematic flair and unrivaled behind-the-scenes access, the show will once again offer viewers an intimate, unvarnished, unique vantage on the high human drama of American politics at a moment of unparalleled intensity and historic ramifications for Trump, his party, the Democratic opposition and the nation’s voters.
Returning for the start of its third season this past spring, THE CIRCUS delivered a series high of 1.3 million viewers with the episode “Too Many Lawyers,” which pulled back the curtain on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump and Russia, the criminal probe of Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen and the battle waged by lawyer Michael Avenatti on behalf of porn star Stormy Daniels. The show’s spring run also featured Heilemann, Wagner and McKinnon reporting from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London on the Trump-Russia saga, from Washington on the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, and, with Schmidt’s help, from states around the nation on the Trump effect on the American political landscape.
THE CIRCUS is produced by Left/Right for SHOWTIME. John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon, Alex Wagner, Ted Bourne, Tom Johnson, Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman serve as executive producers.