‘Billions’ Bows to 1.4 Million Viewers

New Showtime series had already been watched 1.6 million times across preview platforms

Billions paul giamatti damien lewis on the Showtime program "Billions"

Showtime’s “Billions” cashed in on Sunday night with 1.4 million total viewers. The new series had already accounted for 1.6 million views prior to its official pay-TV premiere, as the drama debuted earlier across multiple platforms.

“It’s a testament to the timeliness of the subject matter, the power of its stars and the brilliance of the show creators that ‘Billions’ has had such a big start,” David Nevins, president and chief executive of Showtime Networks Inc. said of the combined numbers. “I can’t wait for our subscribers to experience how this season unfolds.”

In summation, the 2.99 million views make the “Billions” series premiere the best performance ever for a Showtime original. It toppled “Ray Donovan,” which combined for 2.91 million viewers between linear premiere night and advance sampling on subscriber platforms in 2013. That said, there’s a big difference between online viewership in the few years between the two, so that record comes with a bit of an asterisk.

“Billions,” which pits Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis against each other in a battle over hedge fund fortune, airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime. It is created, written and executive produced by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin. The pilot was directed by Neil Burger, who also serves as an executive producer on the first two episodes.

Here’s the laundry list of where “Billions” can be seen: Showtime, Showtime on Demand, Showtime Anytime, and the Showtime streaming service, which is available on Apple, Roku, Amazon and Google. Consumers can also subscribe to Showtime via Hulu, Sony PlayStation Vue and Amazon Prime Video.

In other words, yeah, there were a lot of places for those 1.6 million viewers to check “Billions” out early.