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Showtime Cashes In With Record Audience For 'Billions' Debut

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Showtime Cashes In With Record Audience For 'Billions' Debut

Between "Homeland," "The Affair" and "Ray Donovan" (among others), CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS)'s Showtime has slowly come into its own over the past years in the original series realm. No longer seen as an also-ran to the Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX-owned HBO, the network been able to add new hit series to its ranks just about every year. It looks like "Billions" will be joining those illustrious ranks.

The new drama starring Emmy winners Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti had its official debut last Sunday, and was sampled by 1.4 million viewers. Taking into account the 1.6 million viewers that had previously sampled the first episode online and through SVOD formats, that gives the series nearly 3 million total viewers.

The previous record was 2.91 million viewers and set by the Liev Schreiber headlined "Ray Donovan" in 2013. The fixer series had roughly the same live viewer numbers, but fell just a little short with steaming previews.

Related Link: Time Warner Shares Rise After HBO Spinoff Report

'Billions'

"Billions" had the advantage of premiering in a more streaming service dominated field than in 2013. The financial drama's first episode was available in a wealth of places for both subscribers and non-subscribers alike including through YouTube, Facebook, SHO.com, iTunes, Hulu, Roku and Sony PlayStation Vue.

"Billions" was also up on Showtime Anytime, the premium channel's personal streaming service.

Showtime also made the first episode from the new season of its long-running series "Shameless" available for fans to watch for free. "Shameless" and "Billions" air back-to-back every Sunday night.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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