Categories Billions

Is That You, Bobby Axelrod? – Dec 17, 2019

Pop Culture Proxy Fights

by Dan McDermott | Yahoo! Finance | December 17, 2019

In the 1987 film Wall Street, Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko gave the famous “Greed is Good” speech during a hostile takeover of his target, Teldar Paper. This scene is arguably still the most well-known portrayal of an activist shareholder. Recently, however, shareholder activism has returned in dramatic fashion to Billions on ViacomCBS Inc.’s Showtime and Succession on AT&T Inc.’s HBO. Both hit shows depict hostile takeovers/proxy fights as central themes. Viewers might wonder: Does this kind of thing really happen? And, if so, how accurate are the shows’ respective depictions of events?

Starting with Billions, Bobby Axelrod (see Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital/Point 72 capital for the character’s inspiration), played by Damian Lewis, wages two proxy fights during the course of the series. In Season 1, Axelrod wages a proxy fight at Yumtime (see Hostess Brands for likeness). In Season 4, Axe wages another proxy fight at Saler’s (see Sears) with private equity investor/love interest Rebecca Cantu played by Nina Arianda. Let us focus on Axelrod’s engagement with Yumtime, which shares the most real-life similarities with an actual proxy contest.

Companies often become vulnerable to activist hedge funds through sustained underperformance. In particular, lower stock price returns versus a group of peer companies can invite an activist hedge fund – like Axe Capital – to make an argument that change is necessary at the company’s Board of Directors, C-level management or both to turn the company around. In the case of Yumtime, Axe demonstrates that the dessert-pastry company had delivered poor performance for shareholders and offers a solution to turn the company around:

Continue reading Is That You, Bobby Axelrod? – Dec 17, 2019

Categories Billions

Frank Grillo to Recur in Billions Season 5 – Dec 16, 2019

New Character “Nico” 

by Denise Petski | Deadline | December 16, 2019

Photo by AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Frank Grillo (Captain America: Civil War, Black and Blue) is set for a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of Billions, Showtime’s drama series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. Season 5 is in production in New York and will premiere on the network in 2020. Grillo will recur as Nico Tanner, a modern artist.

Created by executive producers/showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, along with Andrew Ross Sorkin, Season 4 of Billions saw former enemies Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti), and Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), the chief counselor to each, come together to form an uneasy but highly effective alliance, aimed at the eradication of all their rivals. They include Grigor Andolov (guest star John Malkovich), Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat (guest star Clancy Brown). David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Kelly AuCoin and Jeffrey DeMunn also star. Julianna Marguiles and Corey Stoll will guest star in Season 5.

Read the rest of the original article at Deadline

Categories Billions

Roma Maffia and Daniel Breaker To Recur In Season 5 of Billions – Dec 13, 2019

Manhattan District Attorney and Chief of Staff

by Denise Petski | Deadline | December 13, 2019

Roma Maffia (Nip/Tuck) and Tony nominee Daniel Breaker(Passing Strange) are set for recurring roles in the upcoming fifth season ofBillions, Showtime’s drama series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. Season 5 is in production in New York and will premiere on the network in 2020.

Created by executive producers/showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, along with Andrew Ross Sorkin, Season 4 of Billions saw former enemies Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti), and Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), the chief counselor to each, come together to form an uneasy but highly effective alliance, aimed at the eradication of all their rivals. They include Grigor Andolov (guest star John Malkovich), Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat (guest star Clancy Brown).

David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Kelly AuCoin and Jeffrey DeMunn also star. Julianna Marguiles and Corey Stoll will guest star in Season 5.

Maffia will play Mary Ann Gramm, the smart and tough Manhattan District Attorney. Breaker is recurring as Scooter Dunbar, the brilliant and locked down Chief of Staff of business titan Michael Prince (Corey Stoll).

Read the rest of the original article at Deadline

Categories Billions Personal and Family Life

Damian Hosted a Billions Party – Nov 17, 2019

Cheers Mate

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | November 17, 2019

To celebrate the start of Billions season five filming, Damian hosted a party at his temporary New York residence for all his co-stars on Saturday, November 16, 2019. We waited to post this news in hopes of photos surfacing throughout the evening into the next day, but nothing so far. We sure hope there were many Dollar Bill shenanigans and Wags words of wisdom. Co-star Stephen Kunken, a self-proclaimed coffee sommelier who plays Compliance Officer Ari Spyros on Billions, did report that spirits were high from all the Michter’s spirits provided. Oh to be a fly on the wall!

 

Categories Behind the Scenes Billions Print Media

Billions Filming in New Paltz and Looking for Extras – Nov 16, 2019

Party Scene at Victorian Castle Resort

by Saba Ali | Poughkeepsie Journal | November 16, 2019

A Showtime series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis will be filming in New Paltz next month. And, the production is looking for locals to work as extras. Billions, which is filming its fifth season, will be shooting at New York’s historic spa resort Mohonk Mountain House on December 2-3. The Victorian castle resort is nestled in the Hudson Valley, only 90 miles north of New York City. Surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest, the National Historic Landmark resort offers farm-to-table cuisine and an award-winning spa.

Billions was looking for an “old-old fashioned, but beautiful hotel” to shoot a party scene, said Hudson Valley Film Commission Director Laurent Rejto.  The casting company is seeking background extras to play “wealthy looking people” at a party” he said.

Grant Wilfley Casting is asking New Paltz locals, anyone within 20 miles, to apply. The call is for both SAG-AFTRA and non-union applicants. Extras will be paid and are not required to have previous acting experience.

For those interested, email BILLIONS@gwcnyc.com with your name, union status, phone number and availability for the two set dates.

Billions, which also stars Maggie Siff, Condola Rashad, Toby Leonard Moore and David Costabile, focuses on a U.S. attorney, played by Giamatti, as he pursues a hedge fund tycoon, played by Lewis.

Read the rest of the original article at Poughkeepsie Journal

Categories Announcement Billions Print Media

Julianna Margulies and Corey Stoll Join Billions for Season 5 – Nov 5, 2019

Introducing the Characters Michael Prince and Catherine Brant

by Rick Porter | Hollywood Reporter | November 5, 2019

The ‘Good Wife’ and ‘House of Cards’ stars will play key recurring parts in the Showtime drama.
Billions is adding some more star power to its fifth season.

Julianna Margulies and Corey Stoll will each appear in recurring roles on the Showtime drama, which is set to return to the premium cabler in 2020.

Stoll (House of Cards, The Strain) will have a season-long arc as a character named Michael Prince, a business titan with roots in small-town Indiana. Margulies (The Good Wife, ER) will recur as Catherine Brant, an Ivy League sociology professor and best-selling author.

Season four of Billions found former enemies Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) forming a tenuous but effective alliance — along with Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), the chief counselor to both men — to take out their common rivals, including Grigor Andolov (John Malkovich), Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown). The show averaged 4.5 million viewers across all platforms last season.

Continue reading Julianna Margulies and Corey Stoll Join Billions for Season 5 – Nov 5, 2019