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Billions is an American television drama series created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, that premiered on Showtime on January 17, 2016. The series is loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,[1][2] and his legal battles with hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors.[3] In Season 2, it also incorporates loosely the cases involving Treasury bond auction market manipulation conduct of Salomon Brothers, including the roles of CEO John Gutfreund and bond trader Paul Mozer, in 1991.

Billions
Billions-KeyArt.jpg
GenreDrama
Created by
Starring
Composer(s)Eskmo
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes42 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Brian Koppelman
  • David Levien
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin
  • Neil Burger
Production location(s)New York City
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time55–60 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Best Available!
  • TBTF Productions Inc.
DistributorShowtime Networks
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseJanuary 17, 2016 (2016-01-17) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Three seasons of Billions have aired. On April 26, 2018, Showtime renewed the series for a fourth season, which premiered on March 17, 2019.[4][5]

Contents

CastEdit

MainEdit

  • Paul Giamatti as Charles "Chuck" Rhoades, Jr.: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who later runs for Governor of New York and is elected Attorney General of New York. Rhoades is ruthless and has a particular distaste for wealthy criminals who try to buy their way out of justice. Despite his significant power as U.S. Attorney, Rhoades struggles not to be overshadowed both by his higher-earning wife, Wendy, and by his well-connected and very rich father. He went to Yale (as did his wife and his father) and has a blind trust of which his father is a trustee. In private, he and his wife engage in BDSM role play, with Chuck as Wendy's "slave". The character is loosely based on Eliot Spitzer and Preet Bharara.
  • Damian Lewis as Robert "Bobby" Axelrod: an ambitious billionaire manager of a hedge fund called Axe Capital and a Hofstra University graduate who came from humble beginnings. He was one of the survivors of the September 11 attacks and pays the college tuition of the children of his colleagues who died in the World Trade Center. He is extremely charitable and generous in public, but uses insider trading and bribery to grow his firm's enormous wealth. He has animal-like instincts that allow him to be extremely successful in his trading career. The character is loosely based on Steve Cohen and his former hedge fund SAC.
  • Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades: a psychiatrist, in-house performance coach at Axe Capital and wife of Chuck Rhoades, Jr. She is self-possessed, motivated, and extremely successful. She has a strong relationship with Axelrod, her boss, with whom she has been working for more than 15 years.
  • Malin Åkerman as Lara Axelrod: wife of Bobby Axelrod and a former nurse (who maintains her professional license). She is from a lower-class, blue-collar upbringing but has left her former self behind. She is devoted to her husband and their children. Her brother Dean was a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks. Lara strongly dislikes Axe's close relationship with Wendy.
  • Toby Leonard Moore as Bryan Connerty: the Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force for the Southern District of New York and Rhoades' point man at the start of the series; he later succeeds Rhoades as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
  • David Costabile as Mike "Wags" Wagner: COO of Axe Capital and Axelrod's right-hand man.[6]
  • Condola Rashād as Kate Sacker, an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
  • Asia Kate Dillon as Taylor Amber Mason (recurring season 2, starring season 3–): an analyst at Axe Capital who becomes close to Axelrod, is appointed CIO of Axe Capital, and later forms Taylor Mason Capital in competition with Axe Capital. They are the first non-binary regular character on mainstream North American television.[7]
  • Jeffrey DeMunn as Charles Rhoades, Sr. (recurring season 1–2, starring season 3–): Chuck's father, a very wealthy and well-connected city power player who often uses his position to meddle in his son's affairs.[8][9][10]
  • Kelly AuCoin as "Dollar" Bill Stern (recurring season 1–3, starring season 4–): a trader at Axe Capital described by AuCoin as "the cheapest millionaire in America."[11]

RecurringEdit

  • Dan Soder as Dudley Mafee: an Axe Capital employee who joins Taylor Mason Capital as its first employee.
  • Malachi Weir as Lonnie Watley: an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York
  • Terry Kinney as Hall: a fixer on Axelrod's payroll who went into hiding after Axelrod's arrest in the finale of season 2 and returned in the middle of season 3.
  • Glenn Fleshler as Orrin Bach: Axelrod's legal counsel
  • Stephen Kunken as Ari Spyros: a former law school classmate of Chuck and an investigator for the SEC. In season 3, Spyros becomes head of compliance for Axe Capital.
  • Nathan Darrow as Mick Danzig: an Axe Capital employee, whom Axelrod got out of an automatic weapons charge, quit the firm for ethical reasons after it bankrupted the city of Sandicot.
  • Ben Shenkman as Ira Schirmer: an attorney and a former law school classmate of Chuck
  • Sam Gilroy as Michael Dimonda: a Wall Street Journal reporter
  • Dennis Boutsikaris as Kenneth Malverne, a rival of Axelrod's who leads a competing hedge fund.
  • Jerry O'Connell as Steven Birch: a rival of Axelrod's who leads a competing hedge fund
  • Christopher Denham as Oliver Dake: United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York
  • Daniel K. Isaac as Ben Kim: A graduate from Stanford University, he is a Korean American employee at Axe Capital since Season 1.[12]

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
112January 17, 2016 (2016-01-17)April 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)
212February 19, 2017 (2017-02-19)May 7, 2017 (2017-05-07)
312March 25, 2018 (2018-03-25)June 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)
4TBAMarch 17, 2019 (2019-03-17)TBA

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

The series was ordered by Showtime in March 2015 with a 12-episode pick up[17] and premiered on January 17, 2016.[18] On January 26, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season,[19] which premiered on February 19, 2017.[20]

Showtime confirmed in April 2017 that Asia Kate Dillon would be a series regular in season 3.[21] Billions is considered to be the first American TV series to have a non-binary character.[22]

BroadcastEdit

The first episode was made available on January 1, 2016, via video on demand services in the U.S. and via CraveTV in Canada.[23][24] It premiered on Stan in Australia on January 27, 2016 and in Canada on The Movie Network on January 17, 2016, simultaneous with the American broadcast.[25]

ReceptionEdit

Billions has received very positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a rating of 86%, with a rating of 77% for season 1, 89% for season 2 and 93% for season 3. [26] The site's critical consensus for the first season reads, "Despite a lack of likable characters, Billions' soapy melodrama and larger-than-life canvas offer plenty of repeat viewing potential."[27] For season 2 it reads, "An influx of new characters and a fresh narrative twist give Billions an added boost during its thoroughly entertaining second season."[28] On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 69 out of 100, based on reviews from 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews",[29] while the second season has a score of 67 out of 100, based on reviews from 6 critics, also indicating "generally favorable reviews".[30]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2017
21st Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film
Maggie Siff
Nominated [31]
32nd Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Television Pilot and First Season - Drama
Allison Estrin
Avy Kaufman
Melissa Moss
Nominated [citation needed]
57th Golden Nymph Awards Best Drama TV Series
Billions
Nominated [citation needed]
2018
8th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series
Paul Giamatti
Nominated [32]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Asia Kate Dillon
Nominated
29th GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series
Billions
Nominated [33]
2019 30th GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series
Billions
Pending [34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Orden, Erica. "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's Office Gets Hollywood Treatment in Showtime Series". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "'Where's your turban?'". Rediff. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Groden, Claire (February 4, 2016). "Inside the Secretive World of Hedge Fund Psychiatrists and Performance Coaches". Fortune. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Otterson, Joe (April 26, 2018). "'Billions' Renewed for Season 4 at Showtime". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Petski, Denise (December 19, 2018). "'Billions' Gets Season 4 Premiere Date & First-Look Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "David Costabile is Mike "Wags" Wagner - Billions - Season 2". Billions. January 28, 2017 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Hibberd, James (February 19, 2017). "'Billions' Premiere Introduces TV's First Gender Non-Binary Character". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Dowling, Amber. "Meet TV's First Non-Binary-Gender Character: Asia Kate Dillon of Showtime's 'Billions'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 2, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Garrido, Duarte. "Billions shows TV's first gender non-binary character". Sky News. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Jones, Ellen E. "Billions star Asia Kate Dillon: 'I cried when I read the script'". Evening Standard. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "Kelly AuCoin On 'Billions', Playing Dollar Bill & Working With Robert De Niro". March 15, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  12. ^ Feldman, Dana. "'Billions' Recap: This Week's Episode Brings Both 'Redemption' And A Striptease". Forbes. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (January 24, 2018). "'Billions': John Malkovich Joins Season 3 In Guest Arc". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  14. ^ ‘Billions’ review: Better than ever
  15. ^ 'Billions' Season 4 Adds Samantha Mathis (Exclusive)
  16. ^ ‘Billions’ review: Better than ever
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 24, 2015). "'Billions' Financial Drama Starring Paul Giamatti & Damian Lewis Gets Showtime Series Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Braxton, Greg (August 12, 2015). "In Showtime's high-finance 'Billions,' it's show me the money, or else". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Falcone, Dana Rose (January 26, 2016). "Showtime renews Billions for second season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  20. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 11, 2016). "'Homeland' Sets Season 6 Premiere Date, Schedules 'Billions' Season 2 Return". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  21. ^ Patten, Dominic (April 9, 2017). "Showtime's 'Billions' Ups Asia Kate Dillon To Series Regular For Season 3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  22. ^ "Meet TV's First Non-Binary-Gender Character: Asia Kate Dillon of Showtime's 'Billions'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "Showtime Sets Early Online Premieres For 'Billions,' 'Shameless'". Variety. December 28, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  24. ^ "CraveTV Offers Canadians Free Early Look at New SHOWTIME® Drama BILLIONS, Beginning January 1". Bell Media. December 29, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  25. ^ "SHOWTIME® Series BILLIONS, SHAMELESS, DARK NET and THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH Anchor The Movie Network's January Lineup" (Press release). Bell Media. December 17, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  26. ^ "Billions". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "Billions: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  28. ^ "Billions: Season 2 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  29. ^ "Billions: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  30. ^ "Billions: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "Satellite Award Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  32. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (January 12, 2018). "'Shape of Water,' 'Big Little Lies,' 'Handmaid's Tale' Top Critics' Choice Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  33. ^ "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees #glaadawards". GLAAD. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  34. ^ "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees #glaadawards". GLAAD. Retrieved March 18, 2019.

External linksEdit