Showtime is getting into the business…business. The premium cable network just ordered a full season of Billions, a new drama set in the modern-day world of Manhattan finance. The show stars Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, a formidable, insightful U.S. attorney who goes up against Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), a risky, adept, and highly intelligent hedge fund manager. The series is currently slated to start production later this year, under writers and executive producers David Levien, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Brian Koppelman, with a planned 2016 release for the series. President of Showtime David Nevins announced the pick-up, saying, “With this caliber of writing and acting, I think the show’s authenticity and insider look will have great appeal to a discerning audience.”
Lewis, of course, has a long history with Showtime, headlining the first three seasons of Homeland alongside Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. On the other hand, this will be Giamatti’s first pairing with the network; most of his small-screen work has been for the BBC (Downton Abbey) or HBO (John Adams, Too Big to Fail). Billions will also star Maggie Siff, Toby Leonard Moore, Malin Akerman, Condola Rashad, and David Costabile, who television aficionados will no doubt remember as Glenn, Walter White’s tragic acolyte in Breaking Bad. On top of this, Neil Burger, who recently helmed the first film in the Divergent franchise, will direct the pilot for Showtime. It’s unclear if Burger will come back to direct any other episodes, but it seems unlikely considering the fact that he’s currently working on a television adaptation of Limitless, his 2011 supernatural crime-drama starring Bradley Cooper, for CBS.