Premiere Date: Jan 17, 2016
Billions is an American television drama series created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. The series is loosely based on crusading federal prosecutor of financial crimes Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bobby "Axe" Axelrod is a charming, charismatic 9/11 survivor who heads up Axe Capital, a hedge fund based in Connecticut. His generosity makes him a beloved member of the community - he pays the first year of tuition and board for all of the college-going children of all of his former colleagues who perished in 9/11 (the fund was formerly located in the World Trade Center) - but the Securities & Exchange Commission thinks that Axelrod is dirty. The SEC goes to Chuck Rhoades, a ruthless masochist U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, but Rhoades refuses to pursue Axelrod until he makes an error, not willing to sacrifice his perfect 81-0 record for prosecution of financial crimes. However, when Rhoades hears that Axelrod wants to buy a heritage waterside property for $83 million, he considers moving forward against Axelrod, as the purchase would widely sour him to the public. Rhoades returns home to his two children and wife, Wendy, who works as a motivational coach/psychiatrist at Axe Capital. He offers Wendy a job as human resources head at GE, as he does not want her working at Axe if he decides to pursue her boss, and despite feeling as though she is being manipulated, Wendy entertains the possibility of leaving Axe (after a loud, profane argument in front of their two small children). Angered by Rhoades' refusal to take on Axelrod, a SEC agent, Spyros, plants a reporter at a presser for Rhoades. The reporter challenges Rhoades' 'small win, no loss' mantra, and Rhoades decides to bait Axelrod into buying the house to turn public favour against him. Axelrod is visited by an old friend, Dan Margolis, whose nervous nature makes Axelrod realize that Margolis is cooperating with the FBI. Axelrod dismisses Margolis from his office without incriminating himself, and goes to his fixer, Hall, who plans for Axelrod to frame a fellow trader, Steven Birch, should the need arise. Next, Axelrod invites the SEC's planted reporter to lunch, and in a befriending move, alerts him to a shady deal that Birch completed recently. Axelrod and Rhoades finally come face-to-face at an investment conference, and their discourse is immediately adversarial, with Rhoades criticising Axelrod for milking his 9/11 survival for public worth. Axelrod decides to buy the house, but is later told by Hall that the FBI have now opened a case file on him. After getting one of his Portfolio Managers out of trouble with the police, Axe takes a spontaneous trip to see Metallica in concert with his childhood friends. While there, he meets a free spirited young woman who makes him face the limits of his own freedom. He also must fend off a short squeeze-an attack on one of his important holdings-led by Chuck's father. Back in New York, Chuck has an epic day-long proffer session with Pete Decker, learning important facts about the inner workings of Axe Capital. But Chuck must also take action against his own father for his stock manipulation. Axe reckons with a cold betrayal by one of his old friends, and upon his return, Axe makes a momentous decision about the direction of his firm.
Created by: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Directed by: James Foley, John Dahl, Neil Burger
Producer(s): Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Neil Burger
No. of episodes: 12
Production company(s): Best Available!, TBTF Productions Inc.