When 'Billions' Season 2 Premieres It Could Feature These Ripped-From-The-Headlines Stories
After only two episodes of Showtime's financial drama had aired, Variety reported in late January 2016 that Billions will return for Season 2. But, while Billions will definitely be back, there needs to be time for the show to produce a new season — that means Billions Season 2 probably won't premiere until winter 2017, based on its Season 1 schedule. After all, fall on Showtime is still all about Homeland and The Affair, while Ray Donovan has the summer spot. That leaves Billions for early January.
And, while the almost year-long wait might be tough for Billions' audience, one cast member is already hard at work thinking about what the next season will include. Actor Damien Lewis, who plays the mercenary investor Bobby Axelrod, told Variety that Billions "has opportunities to dovetail with hard news and truly reflect the headlines. There’s a direct correlation between what we’re doing and what is going on in the financial markets," he said. "This show is about the kinds of personalities that populate this world, and what drives them. Like it or not, what they do directly affects our lives."
With that in mind, here are some of the headline-grabbing events happening in real life right now that Billions could potentially use for its upcoming second season.
The Presidential Election
While the 2016 election continues, the candidates on both side of the aisle have been talking about how they're going to be dealing with income inequality, proposing lower taxes, higher wages, and everything in between. Bernie Sanders, in particular, has been talking a lot about how the wealthy can exploit the financial system, the same way Billions' fictional Axe Capital does in order to boost profits. Maybe the emergence of a public figure running for office, be it for president or simply the New York City mayor, could become an added complication in Season 2.
I know Wendy just turned down a job at a women-driven company, but I'd love to see more Sheryl Sandberg-influenced "Leaning In" on this show. Wendy and Lara are great characters who aren't always defined by their relationships with Chuck and Axe, but there could stand to be a few other types of women on the show, even if we only see them come through as something like a crooked CEO-of-the-week. Granted, women slowly gaining more CEO positions is not the topical "scandal" Billions' writers tend to prefer, but women's struggles in the workplace can be. Think of Jennifer Lawrence's Lenny Letter about receiving a lower salary than her coworkers. A similar exposé, but from one of the few women on AC's payroll could provide a problem for Axe to solve and send Wendy into an existential crisis.
An Information Leak
What happens if there's a huge break in the investigation into Axe Capital, but instead of being exposed in the courtroom, Chuck's findings are leaked to the public? What if the show decided to make the leak originate in Chuck's office? It could be an explosive way to start out Season 2, with both of the leads (plus Maggie) in serious trouble, for very different reasons.
Lately, it seems like the increased scrutiny on the financial industry has upset some CEOs. In the past few weeks, CEOs from Pfizer, General Electric, and JP Morgan Chase have all given interviews or penned op-eds about how increased regulation has affected their businesses. I want to see the kind of tweets an incensed Axe sends out in the middle of the night after finding out that he won't be able to do something that he wanted because of Treasury regulations. He's already shown that he has trouble with dealing with protesters.
Trump is running for president right now, and that has led to his reemergence as not just a reality TV star, but as a businessman. That makes me think: What would happen if another famous billionaire with twice the public swagger and attitude (but perhaps less business acumen) tried to muscle in on Axe's territory? Axe's domineering side would make him completely unable to walk away from the situation — that might be the ultimate way to wring even more pulpy financial drama out of Billions Season 2 in early 2017.