‘Billions’ Final Season Heading to DVD Jan. 16

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the seventh and final season of the Showtime drama “Billions” on DVD Jan. 16. A Blu-ray Disc edition of Billions: The Final Season also will be available on a manufacture-on-demand basis.

In the seventh season, the personal war of U.S. attorney Chuck Rhodes (Paul Giamatti) against venture capitalist Michael Prince (Corey Stoll) heats up when the billionaire decides to run for president. But the greatest threat to Prince’s ambition’s may be the re-emergence of his old rival Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis, the show’s star for seasons one through five).

The cast also includes Jeffrey DeMunn, Asia Kate Dillion, Maggie Siff, David Costabile, Dola Rashad, Kelly AuCoin, Daniel Breaker and Toney Goins. Special guest stars playing themselves include Mark Cuban, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Al Roker.

Billions: The Final Season will also offer the featurettes “Billions: Rewind” and “Billions: Notes on a Scene” as extras.

Season Six of ‘Billions’ Arriving on DVD June 14

CBS, Showtime and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Billions: Season Six on DVD June 14.

The four-disc collection includes all 12 episodes from the 2022 season, which features Michael Prince (Corey Stoll) taking over Axe Capital, causing Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) to develop a new strategy that is keener and more sophisticated than before in order to take Axe down.

The cast also includes David Costabile, Maggie Siff, Asia Kate Dillon, Condola Rashad, Jeffrey DeMunn, Kelly AuCoin and Daniel Breaker.

Extras include two bonus clips and an exclusive featurette.

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‘Billions’ Season 5 Coming to DVD Jan. 11

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Billions: Season Five on DVD Jan. 11, 2022.

In season five of “Billions,” billionaire Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and politician Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) see their vicious rivalry reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim. Social impact pioneer Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) poses a true threat to Axe’s dominance, and Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney (Roma Maffia). Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) reevaluates her loyalties and forges surprising new alliances that put her at odds with both Chuck and Axe. Meanwhile, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is forced back to Axe Capital.

The 12-episode season originally aired on Showtime in two batches — seven episodes from May to June 2020, and five more from September to October 2021. The sixth season will premiere on Showtime Jan. 23.

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Super Bowl LIII, Tax Credit Help CBS Offset Growing OTT Video Content Costs

Advertising revenue from February’s Super Bowl LIII broadcast and a tax benefit contributed to CBS Corp. May 2 reporting a 140% increase in first-quarter (ended March 31) net income to $1.58 billion, compared with $511 million in net income the previous-year period. Revenue increased 11% to $4.17 billion, from $3.76 billion for the prior-year period.

CBS said it received a “discrete” tax benefit of $768 million from the  reorganization of the company’s international operations.

The company said direct-to-consumer video subs, which include CBS All Access and Showtime OTT, grew 71% to 9 million combined subscribers, from 5.3 million in 2018.

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“We are seeing strong growth here in the second quarter thanks to premium original series such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ on CBS All Access and ‘Billions’ on Showtime OTT,” acting CEO Joseph Ianniello said in a statement. “At the same time, we also continue to produce more and more content for a variety of buyers, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, which will debut ‘Dead to Me’ from CBS Television Studios tomorrow.”

Increased content production for Showtime OTT contributed to the cable networks business unit (which includes Showtime OTT) reporting a 26% drop in operating income to $175 million from $236 million last year. Revenue dipped 3% to $552 million from $571 million last year.

The entertainment unit, which includes CBS All Access, CBSN and other streaming services, reported a 9% increase in operating income to $530 million from $486 million for the same prior-year period. Revenue increased 15% to $3.18 billion from $2.75 billion.

CBS Ups Showtime Boss David Nevins to Chief Creative Officer

CBS Corp. Oct. 18 announced the promotion of David Nevins, CEO of Showtime Networks, to corporate chief creative officer, effective immediately. Nevins, who remains CEO of Showtime, was also promoted to chairman of the premium channel.

He will be based in Los Angeles, reporting to Joe Ianniello, acting CBS CEO, in New York.

In his expanded role, Nevins will be responsible for oversight of programming, marketing and research across CBS Television Studios, the CBS Television Network’s Entertainment division, Showtime Networks and, in conjunction with CBS Interactive, programming for over-the-top video platform CBS All Access.

He will also oversee CBS’ interest in The CW, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Julie McNamara (CBS All Access), David Stapf (CBS Television Studios), Kelly Kahl (CBS Entertainment), George Schweitzer (Marketing) and Radha Subramanyam (research) will continue in their leadership roles in these respective areas.

“David has a brilliant creative mind and an impressive track record of success at Showtime and in the entertainment industry,” Ianniello said in a statement.

As chairman/CEO of Showtime, Nevins manages the company’s programming, distribution, business development, finance, marketing, creative, digital media, scheduling, research, acquisitions, network operations, home entertainment, business affairs and corporate communications teams, as well as Showtime Sports and Smithsonian Networks.

Under his leadership, Showtime original series include critically acclaimed “Homeland,” “Billions,” “Ray Donovan,” “Shameless,” “The Affair,” “SMILF,” “Patrick Melrose,” “Kidding,” “House of Lies,” “The Circus,” “The Chi,” and “Twin Peaks.”

The first Showtime project greenlit by Nevins – “Homeland” was the recipient of Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Drama Series,” as well as a Peabody Award.

During his tenure, Showtime has also become the industry leader in live boxing broadcasts.

CEO: Showtime ‘Punching Above Our Weight’ Competing with Netflix

Showtime, along with HBO, once ruled the edgy episodic programing market – a position increasingly under siege by subscription streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

As a result, CBS-owned Showtime now finds itself trying to stay competitive with Netflix, which is spending $8 billion on original TV shows and movies this year. It launched a branded SVOD service in 2015 – now more than 2.5 million subscribers.

Speaking March 12 at INTV confab in Jerusalem, Showtime CEO David Nevins the onslaught of over-the-top video and episodic programing has resulted in Showtime “punch[ing] above our weight” in an effort to keep up.

“It’s a deluge right now, particularly from the streamers — Netflix more than anything,” Nevins said, as reported by Variety. “They’re still in high-growth mode. They’re not trying to deliver earnings.”

Maybe, but Netflix is delivering earnings. The streaming pioneer generated $627 million in profit on revenue of more than $11.1 billion in 2017. It now has more than 117 million subs globally.

Nevins contends that while Netflix is chasing headlines signing marquee content creators, Showtime is targeting curated programing such as “The Chi,” “Our Cartoon President,” “Homeland,” “Billions” (returning March 25), “I’m Dying Up Here” and “The Affair” (returning June 17), “Ray Donovan,” and pending “Escape at Dannemora,” from Ben Stiller, and “Patrick Melrose,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, among others.

“There’s a counter-narrative that’s beginning that’s helpful to us,” he said.

Speaking in January at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, Nevins said Showtime has the budget to attract top talent in and front behind the camera. Referencing the New York Yankees, he added that unlimited spending doesn’t guarantee success.

Indeed, Showtime in 2017 had its biggest ever year of subscription revenue growth and, on a percentage basis, the best sub growth in 16 years.

“But we are … maintaining our margins,” Nevins said. “We are spending more money because we are generating more revenue.”