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Damian Lewis as Robert "Bobby" Axelrod: an ambitious billionaire manager of a hedge fund called Axe Capital and a Hofstra University graduate who came from humble beginnings. He was one of the survivors of the September 11 attacks and pays the college tuition of the children of his colleagues who died in the World Trade Center. He is extremely charitable and generous in public, but uses insider trading and bribery to grow his firm's enormous wealth. He has animal-like instincts that allow him to be extremely successful in his trading career. The character is loosely based on Steve Cohen and his former hedge fund SAC.
Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades: a psychiatrist, in-house performance coach at Axe Capital and wife of Chuck Rhoades, Jr. She is self-possessed, motivated, and extremely successful. She has a strong relationship with Axelrod, her boss, with whom she has been working for more than 15 years. She participates with Chuck in various BDSM role play activities as Chuck is a sadomasochist.
Malin Åkerman as Lara Axelrod (starring season 1-3, recurring season 4-): wife and later ex-wife of Bobby Axelrod and a former nurse (who maintains her professional license). She is from a lower-class, blue-collar upbringing but has left her former self behind. She was devoted to her husband and their children. Her brother Dean was a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks. Lara disapproves of Axe's close relationship with Wendy.
David Costabile as Mike "Wags" Wagner: COO of Axe Capital and Axelrod's right-hand man. He is a known drug and sex addict and claims cocaine helps him focus on work.
Condola Rash?d as Kate Sacker: an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Asia Kate Dillon as Taylor Amber Mason (recurring season 2, starring season 3-): an analyst at Axe Capital who becomes close to Axelrod, is appointed CIO of Axe Capital, and later forms Taylor Mason Capital in competition with Axe Capital. They are the first non-binary regular character on mainstream North American television.
Jeffrey DeMunn as Charles Rhoades, Sr. (recurring season 1-2, starring season 3-): Chuck's father, a very wealthy and well-connected city power player who often uses his position to meddle in his son's affairs.
Kelly AuCoin as "Dollar" Bill Stearn (recurring season 1-3, starring season 4-): a Portfolio Manager at Axe Capital with extreme loyalty to Bobby Axelrod to the extent he would risk incriminating himself to save Axelrod. He was described by AuCoin as "the cheapest millionaire in America." Dollar Bill frequently resorts to insider trading and other legally dubious measures to create high returns for Axe Capital.
Dan Soder as Dudley Mafee: an Axe Capital employee who joins Taylor Mason Capital as its first employee.
Malachi Weir as Lonnie Watley: an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Terry Kinney as Hall: a fixer on Axelrod's payroll who went into hiding after Axelrod's arrest in the finale of season 2 and returned in the middle of season 3.
The series was ordered by Showtime in March 2015 with a 12-episode pick up and premiered on January 17, 2016. On January 26, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on February 19, 2017.
Showtime confirmed in April 2017 that Asia Kate Dillon would be a series regular in season 3.Billions is considered to be the first American TV series to have a non-binary character.
The first episode was made available on January 1, 2016, via video on demand services in the U.S. and via CraveTV in Canada. It premiered on Stan in Australia on January 27, 2016 and in Canada on The Movie Network on January 17, 2016, simultaneous with the American broadcast.
Billions has received very positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a rating of 86%, with a rating of 77% for season 1, 89% for season 2 and 93% for season 3. The site's critical consensus for the first season reads, "Despite a lack of likable characters, Billions soapy melodrama and larger-than-life canvas offer plenty of repeat viewing potential." For season 2 it reads, "An influx of new characters and a fresh narrative twist give Billions an added boost during its thoroughly entertaining second season." On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 69 out of 100, based on reviews from 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews", while the second season has a score of 67 out of 100, based on reviews from 6 critics, also indicating "generally favorable reviews". Praise for the series has steadily grown over time--also on Metacritic, its third season scored a 77 out of 100, while its fourth currently holds a score of 87 out 100 based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "universal acclaim"