Showtime is getting out of the Mark Halperin business — though it’s not quite ready to forgo the entire Circus.
The cable network has confirmed that Halperin, who earlier this week was accused by five women of sexual harassment, will not be invited back for a hypothetical third season of political docuseries The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.
“Should The Circus move forward with another season, Mark Halperin will not be a part of it,” a Showtime spokesperson said in a statement made to our sister site Deadline.
Halperin’s termination comes just two days after he was suspended from his post as an NBC News political analyst, where he put in regular appearances on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The allegations against him date back to his tenure as political director of ABC News during the 1990s and 2000s, during which time he allegedly prepositioned junior employees for sex, and kissed and groped them against their will.
In the days since, HBO dropped plans to develop a project based on a 2016 presidential election post-mortem he was co-authoring with Circus co-host John Heilemann (Game Change) for Penguin Press. The publisher has also scrapped plans to move forward with the book.
Hosted by Halperin, Heilemann and co-creator Mark McKinnon, The Circus during its freshman run followed the 2016 election straight through to its riveting climax. Season 2, which ended in May, tracked the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency.