Paul Giamatti’s Best Series Expanding With Multiple Spin-Offs
Showtime is looking to make spin-off shows of Paul Giamatti's hit financial drama Billions.
Would you like millions, billions, or trillions? Showtime is soon giving viewers their choice with not one but four spin-offs of the hit Paul Giamatti show Billions. The Wall Street Journal reports that the cable network has been turning to franchise shows since it was acquired by Paramount Global, following the template set out by the hit series Yellowstone and its acclaimed spin-offs, 1883 and 1923.
Paul Giamatti plays Chuck Rhoades in Billions, a US attorney general who is trying to bring down hedge fund cavalier Bobby Axelrod as the financier builds his fortune through ruthless tactics that border on the illegal. The first five seasons center around the battle of wits between the two, with Season 6 bringing in a new financial titan, Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince, to challenge Rhoades with his financial maneuvering. The show was renewed for a seventh season after the sixth received even more acclaim than its predecessors.
The four proposed spin-offs will take place in other realms of the financial universe Paul Giamatti occupies in Billions. One, called Millions, will follow up-and-coming financiers scrambling to earn their way to the top. Trillions is the proposed title for another spin-off that will focus on the antics of the megarich.
The other two spin-offs are as yet unnamed, but one will take place in Miami and deal with cryptocurrency, while the other will take place in London. The links between the four shows make it possible that there could be characters and plots that cross over between them as they may take place concurrently. London is one of the major financial centers of the world and cryptocurrency figured into the investment portfolio of both of Paul Giamatti’s targets in Billions.
However, Showtime’s model for the endeavor around Paul Giamatti’s Billions franchise is the Yellowstone franchise, which includes two existing spin-offs and a third upcoming. 1883 and 1923 are about the ancestors of the Duttons, the family central to Yellowstone, with a proposed second season of 1883 following folk hero Bass Reeves. 6666 is about the eponymous ranch, where Yellowstone character Jimmy, played by Jefferson White, went to learn how to be a cowboy but found a permanent home.
The shows might also focus less on Paul Giamatti and the US Attorney’s Office and more on the financial wheeling and dealing engaged in by the antagonists in Billions. Trillions, in particular, will deal with the type of wealth Bobby Axelrod could only dream of, and the success of competitors such as Succession could prompt a behind-the-scenes look at those who hold wealth and power through their financial investments. Not much has been said about the plots of any of the shows.
In addition to making a franchise out of the Paul Giamatti show Billions, Showtime is also seeking to expand the universe of the serial killer Dexter. Last year’s 10-episode limited series, Dexter: New Blood, was the most-viewed show in the network’s history, and a spin-off origin story is being considered. Paramount Global hopes the focus on franchise properties will help streamline the network’s content.