Showtime’s political documentary series will return this spring, but with a new female host, Alex Wagner, to replace Mark Halperin, the former political journalist who fell from grace when multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and assault last year.
Wagner, a CBS News anchor and former MSNBC host, will take Halperin’s spot on “The Circus,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. She’ll be joined by the show’s other original hosts John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon.
Heilemann and Halperin have been longtime partners in covering politics. The pair have written books, had a television movie and a Bloomberg TV show, which were dropped when allegations of sexual misconduct came out against Halperin in October.
At least five of Halperin’s female colleagues at ABC News claimed the prominent political journalist made unwanted and aggressive advances toward them, including propositioning employees for sex and pressing his genitals, while clothed, against at least three women’s bodies without their consent, CNN originally reported. Halperin has denied the claims and has said any relationships he had with colleagues was consensual. He has apologized for “conduct that was often aggressive and crude.”
The docu-series will still offer a behind-the-scenes look at politics without the famed co-host. Wagner told the Times she hopes to discuss “questions of American identity” in her role.