Nielsen estimates that the Wall Street drama “Billions” drew 2.99 million viewers for its premiere, with 1.4 million viewers watching one of the three Sunday airings and another 1.6 million sampling the drama early across platforms. The cume total breaks the previous Showtime premiere record of 2.91 million for “Ray Donovan” in June 2013 when including that show’s premiere number (1.4 million), encores and advance sampling on subscriber platforms (roughly 1.5 million).
“Billions,” starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, airs Sundays at 10 p.m., following “Shameless.” It melds the worlds of ultra-wealth, influence and corruption as personified in two highly ambitious opposing figures: politically connected U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile and Condola Rashad also star.
“Billions” is created, written and executive produced by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The pilot was directed by Neil Burger, who also serves as an executive producer on the first two episodes.