OF THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT… BIL­LIONS

WHY SKY AT­LANTIC’S LAT­EST IM­PORT MIGHT BE­COME YOUR NEW AP­POINT­MENT TV

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

Al­though it un­folds in sur­pris­ing ways across its 12 episodes, Bil­lions essen­tially sketches the con­flict be­tween Bobby Ax­el­rod (Damian Lewis), a self-made hedge fund bil­lion­aire, and Chuck Roades (Paul Gia­matti), a United States at­tor­ney look­ing to bring him down. “We think of bil­lion­aires as na­tion states, and United States at­tor­neys as kings,” says show co-cre­ator Brian Kop­pel­man. “The show re­ally is about each guy try­ing to keep his king­dom in or­der while pre­par­ing to do bat­tle with the other,” adds fel­low showrun­ner, David Le­vien. want to do a thing where it was the bad rich guy and the no­ble prose­cu­tor. We were in­ter­ested in play­ing with peo­ple’s root­ing interest.”

Al­though the show takes place now, the fi­nan­cial crash of 2008 looms large. “It’s re­ally about how those events af­fected th­ese peo­ple psy­cho­log­i­cally,” says Kop­pel­man. “You’re watch­ing the psy­chol­ogy un­fold of the kind of peo­ple who were re­spon­si­ble for that stuff.”

In­flu­ences in­clude Mar­gin Call and Glen­garry Glen Ross, as well as sem­i­nal TV shows like The So­pra­nos and Mad Men. But the showrun­ners have tried to cre­ate some­thing unique. “It didn’t feel like it was go­ing to fit a tem­plate of some­thing we’d seen be­fore,” says Le­vien.

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