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Showtime’s ‘Billions’: Season 2 Teases & Trump Influences – TCA

Deadline logo Deadline 1/10/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
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The looming Donald Trump presidency and how it will impact your TV show.

It’s the never-ending query many series EPs are fielding here at TCA today and likely will be the theme of the entire winter press tour.

For Showtime’s Billionswhich centers on a feud between a New York Southern District U.S. Attorney (Paul Giamatti) and an ambitious insider trader (Damian Lewis), they already had been influenced by the evolving Trump era before he was even elected. Watch a Season 2 trailer above.

“It was all going on while we were writing; the world was shifting,” said EP Brian Koppelman.

“Americans are fascinated by real-life billionaires on TV and the ambition that fuels these people,” said Koppelman on drawing from Trump-era inspirations on the Showtime show, “If they’re charismatic and say interesting things, it’s what we find thought-provoking.”

Revealing as much as they could about their warring characters next season, Lewis said that his Bobby Axelrod has had “certainties which have been eroded.” He’s left in a vulnerable position, and his marriage to Lara (Malin Akerman) “is fracturing” as he begins to take people for granted.

Also, “These hedge fund guys are feeling pressure,” Lewis said. “Fees are going up and people aren’t finding them. They’re finding it harder to make money, and somewhere in the ether that is effecting Bobby.”

Meanwhile, Giamatti’s Chuck Rhodes “will be less Mussolini and more Machiavelli,” the Sideways actor said. “Less a brawler but more like a scout.” Rhodes, too exposes his soft side as “his wife kicks him to the curb. That shakes him in a lot of ways. There are things that are exposed in him. He’s been hit by Axelrod, and that throws him. He changes in some ways by intensifying, but he channels his energy in a different way,” added Giamatti.

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