Showtime has renewed “Billions” for a second season, Variety has learned.
The Season 2 pickup comes just after two episodes have aired of the Wall Street drama, which ranks as Showtime’s highest debut ever for a freshman series.
Already breaking an all-time high record for the cabler with its series premiere that brought in 2.99 million viewers across all platforms, with delayed viewing factored in, “Billions” attracted a total audience of 6.5 million, according to Showtime. The impressive bow is up seven percent from “Ray Donovan,” which was the previous record holder with 6.1 million viewers across all platforms.
Following the record-breaker, the drama’s second episode drew 1.59 million combined viewers for two airings this past Sunday.
Starring “Homeland’s” Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, the drama set in the financial world opened to positive reviews with Variety writing, “‘Billions’ pays off for Showtime.” The show also made Variety‘s list of most anticipated shows in 2016.
For Variety‘s “Billions” cover story, Showtime boss David Nevins — who had long been looking for an investment banking-themed series — said the show could be the first in the genre to work on TV.
“The show is really a Trojan horse for examining our complicated feelings about class and wealth,” Nevins said. “We have this new class of the super-wealthy in this country. People aspire to have that kind of wealth, but we also are having the discussion about inequality and what’s fair and what’s not.”
Lewis said “Billions” can relate to wide audiences because it speaks to larger social issues. He said, “It has opportunities to dovetail with hard news and truly reflect the headlines. There’s a direct correlation between what we’re doing and what is going on in the financial markets. This show is about the kinds of personalities that populate this world, and what drives them. Like it or not, what they do directly affects our lives.”