11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Billions' Creators Ink Overall Deal With Showtime (Exclusive)
Showtime is further investing in the two key creative forces behind its hit drama Billions.
The premium cable network has signed executive producers and co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien to an overall deal. Terms of the pact — including its length and financial details — were not immediately available.
Under the deal, Koppelman and Levien — who co-created Billions alongside Andrew Ross Sorkin — will continue to serve as showrunners on the Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis drama, as well as develop new projects for the cabler.
"Brian and David are uniquely talented creators and producers, with the ability to deliver dynamic, meaningful drama week after week that not only taps into the zeitgeist, but also redefines it,” Showtime entertainment president Jana Winograde said Friday in a statement. "They are both wildly imaginative and able to tell stories that are emotionally grounded — a truly compelling combination. We look forward to enjoying future seasons of Billions, as well as seeing what other exciting series will emerge from their incisive minds."
The news arrives a month after Showtime renewed Billions for a fifth season and ahead of Sunday's season four finale. The show, which averages 4.5 million viewers across multiple platforms per week, is becoming an increasingly valuable series for Showtime, which this year will say farewell to both Homeland and The Affair, with Shameless also likely nearing its end. The cabler's roster of scripted originals also includes Ray Donovan, The Chi, Kidding, Black Monday and the upcoming City on a Hill and L Word revival, among others.
Koppelman and Levien's credits include Rounders, Ocean's 13, Solitary Man, The Illusionist, Runaway Jury and Tilt. Levien has also written six novels, including four in the Frank Behr series, while Koppelman created and hosts the podcast The Moment.
In addition to Koppelman and Levien, Showtime has a first-look deal with Lena Waithe (The Chi). The overall deals space continues to remain red-hot as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look to lock up top talent in an era of increased competition and amid the ongoing battle between writers and agents over packaging fees and affiliated studios, with the latter possibly impacting the development process.
Koppelman and Levien's deal was completed by Jackoway Austen after having been started by WME before the WGA flap.