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9 items from 2017


Filmmaker John Singleton Rides the Peak TV Wave to Recharge His Career

22 March 2017 10:05 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Uber driver can’t come fast enough for John Singleton.

The filmmaker is hopping between studio lots in Hollywood on a warm afternoon in early November as he tends to the two drama series he’s launching this year: Bet’s “Rebel” and FX’s “Snowfall.”

At the Lot complex just off Formosa, Singleton is working with longtime collaborators on the sound mix and other post-production touches for the two-hour telepic that will introduce “Rebel” on March 28. In a nutshell, the series, Singleton explains, is “ ‘Shaft’ with a black woman.”

After reviewing the progress on “Rebel,” Singleton, 49, hurries out to the street, searching for the Uber while talking a blue streak, punctuated by a distinctive high-pitched giggle when he really wants to make a point. He’s revved up about the promise of the series and the breakout potential of his star, Danielle Moné Truitt.

“I call it film noir with neo soul, neo »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Showtime Renews Paul Giamatti-Damian Lewis Wall Street Drama ‘Billions’ for Third Season

8 March 2017 12:30 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Showtime is shelling out for more “Billions.” The network has renewed the Paul Giamatti-Damian Lewis Wall Street drama for a third season, Variety has learned.

“‘Billions’ continues to be a show on the rise, growing not only in audience, but in critical buzz and cultural relevance,” said David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc. “It offers a unique mix of pure entertainment with sly commentary on our current have/have-not economy. Season 2 is off to a tremendous start, and has only whetted our audience’s appetite for what will come in Season 3.”

Season 2, currently airing, picked up immediately after the Season 1 finale. Hard-charging U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) squares off against billionaire hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Lewis), scorching the earth in a costly war for personal domination. The series explores the dynamic in the battle of law versus money, with power, sex, and the soul of New York in the »

- Oriana Schwindt

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Billions Introduces TV’s First Gender Non-Binary Character

20 February 2017 9:31 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

A version of this story originally appeared on EW.com.

If you were to guess which TV series would be the first major program to introduce a gender non-binary regular character, Showtime’s Billions probably wouldn’t leap to mind. The high-finance drama is hyper-focused on the dueling testosterone-soaked worlds of Axe Capital hedge fund (led by Damien Lewis’ scheming Bobby Axelrod) and the Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office (commanded by Paul Giamatti’s growling Charles Rhoades).

Yet it’s Billions’ hyper-masculine perspective that makes Sunday’s season 2’s introduction of Taylor so mesmerizing. »

- James Hibberd

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‘Billions’ Showrunners on Season 2: Axe Takes the ‘Offensive,’ Chuck ‘Under Siege’

17 February 2017 10:58 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Billions” showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien teased Season 2, saying that the dynamic between the two main characters is about to change. “We reset the dynamic a little bit, where Axe is taking the offensive and Chuck finds himself under siege,” Levien told TheWrap. “Of course, the show never goes in a straight line. It zigs and zags quite a lot, then they have to work from there.” Season 2 picks up immediately after the explosive Season 1 finale, which ended in a head-to-head confrontation between U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and billionaire hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Also Read:. »

- Joe Otterson

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Remote Controlled: ‘Billions’ Stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, EPs Preview Season 2 Showdowns

17 February 2017 9:41 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Welcome to Remote Controlled, Variety’s podcast series featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

This week’s episode features Variety executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum and chief TV critic Maureen Ryan in conversation with “Billions” creators and executive producers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, as well as stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti.

In the second season of “Billions,” which arrives on Sunday, Chuck Rhoades comes out swinging — in more ways than one, according to Giamatti, who plays the federal prosecutor. 

Partly in reaction to various crises in his life, including his ongoing battle with hedge fund magnate Bobby Axelrod (Lewis), Chuck takes up jiu jitsu early in Season 2.

His training at the gym “becomes metaphorical for him and for the show,” says Giamatti, who notes that Chuck learns from the martial art “that you can win from a position of vulnerability.”

That »

- Maureen Ryan

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‘Billions’ Bosses Promise to Deliver High Yield Drama at Season 2 Premiere

14 February 2017 11:36 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Anna Wintour waited patiently at the bar to give Damian Lewis a hug just as he arrived Monday night at Cipriani in lower Manhattan for the season two premiere of “Billions.”

The Vogue editor-in-chief was among the high net worth guests who turned out to toast the Wall Street-themed drama’s Feb. 19 return on Showtime. Knicks coach Phil Jackson and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also made the rounds at the screening and party, appropriately held at the venue across the street from Wall Street’s iconic charging bull sculpture.

Showtime CEO David Nevins gave a shout-out to co-creators and showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien for their deft touch in delivering the “Billions” mix of sudsy drama and heady commentary on the 1% and their discontents. The show’s already large ensemble cast — anchored by Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman — has been enhanced this year with such notable additions as Eric Bogosian, Christopher Denham »

- Cynthia Littleton

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New TV Promos – Beyond, Trial & Error, 24: Legacy, Chicago Justice, Billions, The Magicians

24 January 2017 6:55 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

A selection of new TV promos have arrived on this week, giving us a look at the upcoming shows Beyond, Trial & Error, 24: Legacy, Chicago Justice, along with the second seasons of Billions and The Magicians; check them out here…

Beyond” is a one-hour drama about Holden, a young man who wakes up from a coma after 12 years and discovers new abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy. Now Holden must try and figure out what happened to him during those 12 years; how to survive a world that changed while he was gone; and answer the question, why did this happen to him?

Trial & Error is your new weekly addiction. A serialized murder-mystery comedy from Jeff Astrof (Ground Floor, Friends) and Matt Miller (Forever, Chuck), this documentary-style single-camera series goes into the heart of a quirky, small Southern town to follow the arrest and murder trial »

- Amie Cranswick

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‘Billions’ Season 2: New Trailer, Plus Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis Tease One-on-One Showdowns

9 January 2017 4:25 PM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

“My character, and in some ways the show, is less Mussolini and more Machiavelli,” Paul Giamatti said when asked about “Billions” Season 2 during Showtime’s TCA panel presentation for the high-rated drama. And by that, he means the characters will be “less brutal and more strategic” in the upcoming episodes.

“You see vulnerabilities in them,” co-star Damian Lewis added. “These vulnerabilities and frailties become burdensome in trying to win this game.”

The game Lewis refers to is the winner-takes-all throw-down between Chuck Rhodes, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, an aggressive hedge fund manager who Rhodes suspects is corrupt. Much of Season 1 focused on the two waging war against each other, as Axe attempted to grow his empire and Rhodes aimed to expose Axe in order to destroy him.

But in Season 2, things are intensifying at work and at home for both men… »

- Ben Travers

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‘Billions’ Season 2: New Trailer, Plus Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis Tease One-on-One Showdowns

9 January 2017 4:25 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“My character, and in some ways the show, is less Mussolini and more Machiavelli,” Paul Giamatti said when asked about “Billions” Season 2 during Showtime’s TCA panel presentation for the high-rated drama. And by that, he means the characters will be “less brutal and more strategic” in the upcoming episodes.

“You see vulnerabilities in them,” co-star Damian Lewis added. “These vulnerabilities and frailties become burdensome in trying to win this game.”

The game Lewis refers to is the winner-takes-all throw-down between Chuck Rhodes, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, an aggressive hedge fund manager who Rhodes suspects is corrupt. Much of Season 1 focused on the two waging war against each other, as Axe attempted to grow his empire and Rhodes aimed to expose Axe in order to destroy him.

But in Season 2, things are intensifying at work and at home for both men… »

- Ben Travers

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9 items from 2017


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