Chris McCarthy has been speaking about a franchise strategy for Showtime since he took over the network a couple of months ago. That strategy will include expanding successful series with multiple spinoffs in the mold of the Yellowstone universe as the premium cable network starts its integration with Paramount+ and getting a new moniker, Paramount+ with Showtime.
Deadline has been hearing for awhile about potential Billions offshoots from series co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien. Showtime would not confirm the plan but McCarthy did it in an interview with WSJ, revealing that the four projects in the works are spinoffs set in Miami, the self-proclaimed crypto capital, and London, the world’s financial hub, as well as offshoots Millions, about up-and-coming financiers, and Trillions, a soap about the ultra rich. (You can find more details about all four Billions series in development at the bottom of the story.)
McCarthy also confirmed that a Dexter prequel is in the works. Given a straight-to-series order, the project is set in Dexter’s home town of Miami. It will tell the title character’s origin story while also incorporating stories of real-life serial killers of the time. The recent sequel series Dexter: New Blood, which set Showtime viewership records, is also likely to continue with a second season in the future, McCarthy said. Additionally, the network is exploring spinoffs about the origin stories of other Dexter characters, including the Trinity Killer, played bu John Lithgow in the original series.
Showtime has similar universe-building plans for the newly greenlighted The Department, an adaptation of the French series The Bureau, from George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and the companies behind the Yellowstone franchise, MTV Entertainment Studios, which is overseen by McCarthy, and 101 Studios. In success, the series would spawn offshoots set inside international spy agencies.
The programming plans for the Showtime brand emerge following the recent cost-cutting move at the network, which included the cancellations of American Gigolo and Let the Right One In after one season and the decision not to go forward with the completed new series Three Women, which is being shopped. The network also removed 21 shows from its streaming platforms, mostly short-lived Showtime originals.
The only major renewal since McCarthy added oversight of Showtime has been of mystery drama Yellowjackets, whose first season ranks only behind Dexter: New Blood in terms of viewership on Showtime. He laid out the framework of the plan for the network at the time of the December renewal.
“As we head into 2023 and beyond, our plan is to lean into Showtime’s strengths and focus on three key areas that have defined the brand,” McCarthy said at the time. “Complex and subversive antiheroes like Dexter and Yellowjackets, powerful high-stakes worlds like Homeland and Billions, and unconventional cultural takes like The L Word and The Chi – all with an eye towards making the biggest hits possible and building them into hit franchises as we have done very successfully across the company.”
Since Showtime’s parent Paramount Global does not control the Emmy-winning Homeland, produced by Disney’s 20th Television, The Department is envisioned as a spiritual successor and a show in the Homeland mold that the network can exploit with offshoots, McCarthy told WSJ.
Here are details about the Billions spinoffs in development, executive produced by Koppelman and Levien. The duo recently extended their overall deal with Showtime, which is producing the shows with MTV Entertainment Studios. Season 7 of the mothership series is currently in production in New York to premiere later this year.
BILLIONS: MIAMI (w/t), a new installment set in the world of private aviation, where the clientele believe the rules of society, government and gravity don’t apply to them, amidst the wealth, nightlife, contraband and the cryptocurrency that pulses through that city. Koppelman and Levien are already in the writing process on this project.
BILLIONS: LONDON (w/t), another iteration set across the pond and operating in the world of UK finance.
MILLIONS (w/t), a series featuring diverse, thirtysomething, financial mogul wannabes doing whatever it takes to make it in Manhattan.
TRILLIONS (w/t), a drama based on fictional stories of the richest people in the world – titans of industry living all over the country but coming into contact and conflict with one another.
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