‘Billions’ premiere helps Showtime set new series ratings record

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Showtime clearly wanted to make sure that “Billions” got off to the best start possible in the ratings. How do you figure? Well, think along the lines of this criteria. The network made the Paul Giamatti – Damien Lewis show’s premiere episode available to fans early across multiple streaming platforms, and it even aired during a Free Preview Weekend for many cable subscribers.

The numbers are, in the end, impressive: Nearly three million when you count both the live+same day ratings and the early streams. This means that this is now the #1 new series debut in Showtime history, ahead of even the smash hit “Dexter” and also “Ray Donovan.”

Now that we have said all of this, there is still another valuable question worth asking: Will “Billions” keep all of this audience? It is remarkable in the first place that a show about Wall St. got this much attention from mainstream viewers, and that will be a rather difficult thing to keep moving into the long-term when the episodes are not free. Also, we do think that the first episode has some problems, but there could be hope for it to shine at some point down the line. The concern is whether or not others who were lukewarm on the pilot will have the same patience.

With all of this said, it already feels a little bit like a slam-dunk to us that “Billions” is going to be renewed for a second season by Showtime. They are always a network that wants to support its original properties to the best of their abilities.

If you missed it, head over here to read our own review for the “Billions” series premiere. Also, sign up over at this link to get some other TV news on everything we cover at CarterMatt, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Showtime.)

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