12 Shows Like Billions You Definitely Need To See

When it comes to dramatic storytelling, few shows do it better than Showtime's "Billions." Premiering in 2016, the series initially followed U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and hedge fund CEO Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis) in a cat-and-mouse game involving financial crimes, determined (and oft-corrupt) government officials, dysfunctional families, obsession, and tested loyalties. While taking some license to push the narrative and give each character a unique personality, "Billions" also highlights the real worlds of federal prosecutors and high finance. The first season and its two main characters were allegedly loosely inspired by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara's case against SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen for insider trading.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, depicting these complicated worlds as accurately as possible was important to "Billions" co-creators and writers Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman, and David Levien, who balance the show with truth along with embellishments (and humor) that keep the series fresh and characters endlessly engaging. The formula has proven successful throughout the series, and they know how to adapt to major changes — like co-lead Damian Lewis exiting after Season 5. If you're already caught up on "Billions" and are wondering where you should turn now to help scratch that very specific itch left in its wake, check out the shows below to find out what to watch next.


Bobby Axelrod is meant to be the rich guy you want to eat. Yet, through careful and clever writing, you'll find yourself cheering on the dirty millionaire who is as obsessed with beating Chuck Rhoades as the U.S. Attorney is to taking Axe down once and for all. Axe and Chuck are arguably two sides of the same coin. They're willing to break the rules to get what they want. Still, it's intriguing that Axe, in particular, is easy to back despite representing the worst of Wall Street. His charm, wit, and monologues will have you fist-pumping the air because Damian Lewis is an engaging performer.

While Lewis has many memorable scenes in "Billions," no role showcases the actor's range like his turn as Marine sergeant Nicholas Brody in "Homeland." Showtime's international thriller follows CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). In the show's first season, she's convinced Brody was turned by Al-Qaeda after being taken as a prisoner of war. During his three seasons, Lewis depicts a traumatized soldier and disconnected family man, not to mention an increasingly mysterious (and dangerous) character. 

Once the truth is revealed, Lewis and the writers peel back the layers of Nicholas Brody even more, ultimately earning the actor an Emmy Award for his brilliant portrayal. If you were impressed with Lewis' performance as Bobby Axelrod, let him really blow you away with the talent he brings to "Homeland."

Sons of Anarchy

If you love Maggie Siff's portrayal of Axe Capital's psychiatrist (and Chuck's wife), Wendy Rhoades, on "Billions" (as you should), now is the time to revisit her gritty journey as Dr. Tara Knowles in Kurt Sutter's biker crime drama, "Sons of Anarchy." The characters share a couple of similarities, namely their intellect and resiliency, but playing Tara pushed Siff to dig deep into a very complex woman driven by love to become immersed in an extremely dangerous and violent world.

In "Sons of Anarchy," Tara falls back in love with outlaw Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), who is navigating life as the vice president of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) and struggling with how to be a father while helping to lead a motorcycle gang. Jax was born into the life, but whether or not he wants his sons to follow in his footsteps is a driving force behind his and Tara's choices in the Emmy-nominated series. 

Siff gets to play a fun part as the cunning Wendy in "Billions," an excellent hedge fund performance coach stuck in the middle of Chuck and Axe's battle of wills. As Tara, though, she shows off her true range as a formidable mother with some heavy baggage and a steel backbone. She's a big reason, one of many, to check out FX's "Sons of Anarchy."

The Strain

Damian Lewis departing "Billions" at the end of the show's fifth season was a massive blow for fans. The minds behind the series knew they would have to find a formidable new foe for Chuck Rhoades — and a talented actor to play them. Luckily, they nabbed Corey Stoll as Mike Prince, who has taken over Axe Capital following Bobby Axelrod's decision to avoid prosecution by fleeing the country. 

Stoll, a "House of Cards" Golden Globe nominee, is a star who fits in seamlessly with the show's excellent cast. Of his previous projects, our favorite is "The Strain," based on the book trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, who also created the adaptation. Stoll stars as CDC doctor Ephraim Goodweather in this drama series that stands out from the rest of this list, as it heavily dabbles in the horror and fantasy genres. 

"The Strain" is the ultimate vampire apocalypse tale, beginning with a plane full of dead people and a virus spreading across New York City. Ephraim, desperate to stop the outbreak and save his son while facing deep familial wounds, is only one member of humanity standing up against a seemingly unstoppable evil. The show proves it doesn't matter what genre in which Stoll stretches his acting muscles; the man knows how to steal every scene he's in. "The Strain" should be your first stop on the Corey Stoll train.

Dexter: New Blood

Continuing praise for a few notables on "Billions," Clancy Brown also deserves a section dedicated to his craft. "The Shawshank Redemption" actor portrayed Waylon "Jock" Jeffcoat, a corrupt U.S. Attorney General and a major thorn in Chuck's side, in the third and fourth seasons of the drama series. Brown is often typecast as an intimidating antagonist, putting his deep, full-bodied voice to good use as he fills every scene with his no-nonsense presence. These are the kind of roles he was born to play. 

Brown has a long list of memorable roles, but if you want to stick with another recent cat-and-mouse drama that features him prominently, "Dexter: New Blood" is a good place to start. The "Dexter" revival picks up a decade after the controversial finale of the award-winning series starring Michael C. Hall. As he tries to keep his true identity a secret and grapples with having his now-teenaged son back in his life, Dexter faces off with Brown's Kurt Caldwell, a fellow serial murderer known as the Runaway Killer (with perhaps the best trophy room from either series). 

Similar to Jock, Kurt believes himself to be untouchable because of his wealth and status, but both characters find out the hard way not to poke the wrong bear. To get the most out of "Dexter: New Blood," we recommend watching "Dexter" first. Yes, you'll be lengthening your binge-watch, but it's worth your time beyond getting your fill of Clancy Brown in the revival.


Few shows depict dysfunctional families like "Succession." As with "Billions," we get a glimpse of the ultra-rich and how wealth, power, and greed can serve as a catalyst for destruction. While the Roys in Jesse Armstrong's "Succession" are the better example of how ridiculous amounts of money can disrupt the warm side of family, there are moments in "Billions" when we see how Axe's obsession with wealth and winning, and Chuck's obsession with besting Axe and taking him down, takes a toll on their wives and kids. In later seasons, each couple is divorced, and their children barely appear in their lives.

Beyond complicated family dynamics, "Billions" fans will get their fill of being on the inside of these characters' lifestyles and the business dealings that keep the Roy family's media and entertainment company afloat through several scandals. "Succession" and "Billions" are penned by clever writers who know how to balance profound drama with plenty of humor and sharp dialogue, which is necessary to digest the story. If you're missing shocking betrayals, intense rivalries, and massive egos, now is the time to start following the Roy family's tale.


As with "Billions," even the characters we assume to be the most squeaky clean are not always on the up and up. And, if we're being honest, that is partly what makes "Suits" so entertaining. Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and his protege Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) are the ones to root for as they go up against challenging lawyers and clients. Still, they bend (and break) the rules more than once during the show's nine seasons.

The metaphorical chess matches Mike and Harvey play against opposing attorneys as they take on new cases are as fun to watch as Chuck vs. Axe (or Mike Prince). Every player on the board is smart, quick-witted, and stubborn, leading to some epic wins and losses. "Suits" never gets quite as dark as "Billions," leaning into a lighter dramatic-comedic tone, which helps its heavier narratives take the audience by surprise when they dive into those themes. If you want to watch another legal drama with sharp writing and memorable characters, "Suits" is an excellent addition to your watchlist.


If you're still riding that legal drama wave and want to watch more dysfunctional lawyers go to war, look no further than Prime Video's "Goliath." Playing disgraced attorney Billy McBride, Billy Bob Thornton earned a well-deserved Golden Globe in 2017, and his character is easy to root for. Perfectly imperfect, McBride is a messy work-in-progress who fights for what's right with a little help from his ragtag group of friends and colleagues.

In "Billions," the battle between amoral U.S. attorneys and sketchy hedge fund managers becomes personal and, arguably, selfish to the point that lines are blurred, and many innocent people become collateral damage. McBride might be out for revenge against his former firm when the series begins, but his intentions are largely as pure as you would want them to be if he were in your corner (and you can trust that this is the guy you want in your corner). Co-created by multi-Emmy winner David E. Kelley ("Big Little Lies," "Ally McBeal"), "Goliath" delivers compelling performances, memorable characters, and cases against a few powerful opponents that give Billy a run for his money.

Ray Donovan

Shifting away from legal dramas and peeling back the dangerous world of Hollywood crimes, fixers, and traumatized Boston transplants, "Ray Donovan" is less about eating the rich and more about using their secrets to make a living. No one's better at the job than Ray (Liev Schreiber), whose chaotic life balancing fixing famous and wealthy people's problems with his own family's mayhem will constantly leave you begging for this incredibly flawed man to get one good night's sleep.

As previously mentioned, "Billions" dabbles in family dysfunction. It's the root of the story in "Ray Donovan." Expanding on troubled marriages and complicated (to put it lightly) parent-child relationships, the award-winning series is brutal, funny, and heartbreaking. Grittier than "Billions" but still taking a hard look into the dangerous world of greed and fame, "Ray Donovan" doesn't shy away from how money and violence (along with ignored generational trauma) can only lead to destruction. Guys like Ray and Bobby Axelrod, even on different paths, rarely get traditional happy endings.

Your Honor

You can never go wrong with "Breaking Bad" star and Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston, who now plays Judge Michael Desiato in Showtime's crime drama thriller "Your Honor." The first season introduces us to Michael as a moral and fair judge and a widowed father to his teenage son, Adam (Hunter Doohan). Everything changes when Adam is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves another teenager dead. Adam, haunted by the terrible event, convinces his dad he needs to turn himself in. But everything changes when Michael discovers the dead boy is the son of mob boss Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg), who is determined to discover the identity of his son's killer and make sure they never make it to trial.

In "Billions," U.S. Attorney Chuck Roades is willing to compromise his morals in the name of taking down the corrupt ultra-rich and powerful, first Bobby Axelrod and later Mike Prince. His obsessive determination to beat them and walk away victorious doesn't quite compare with Judge Desiato's desperation to keep his son (and all that's left of his family) alive and safe from a vengeful crime lord and his vicious wife. These are men, fathers, who have sworn to uphold the law and the Constitution, but one is breaking the law for the "right" reasons, and the other crosses the line for what could be a noble cause — if he wasn't so self-righteous about the whole thing.

Better Call Saul

"Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan was a bold genius when he announced an ambitious prequel to the hit series starring Bob Odenkirk. "Better Call Saul" mostly takes place before the era of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and follows the origins of Jimmy McGill turned Saul Goodman. The show explores how he became the dirty attorney we know while offering glimpses into post-"Breaking Bad" events.

"Better Call Saul" follows the theme of people meant to adhere to the letter of the law but find themselves breaking the rules (or completely obliterating them). Chuck Rhoades doesn't hold a candle to Jimmy McGill. As he slowly transforms into Saul Goodman, Jimmy's story is tragic. His initial path is that of a man wanting to be better and do things the right way, only to be thwarted at every turn — many times by his brother. Jimmy's descent into his old grifter alias, Saul, eventually creates a domino effect that draws in and nearly destroys the love of his life, Kim (played by the ineffable Rhea Seehorn). "Better Call Saul" is far darker than "Billions," but both shows depict the consequences of a single choice or action and what it costs to set things right.


From the dark recesses of the Missouri Ozarks, our next entry is another series themed around family and unabashed greed. While "Billions" strictly exists in the world of white-collar crime and the ridiculously wealthy, "Ozark" offers a mix of worlds colliding thanks to money launderer Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family. There are mobs, drug cartels, even more dirty politicians, backwoods drug dealers, and enough family drama to last a lifetime.

Aside from riches and staying on top, what Axe feels he is fighting for in "Billions" are survival and identity. That's what money and power mean to him. Who is he without it? In "Ozark," Marty and his family's fight is for survival in the mortal sense. As time goes by, the series reveals that Marty's wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), is the ruthless one, more fitted for manipulation and killing to get what she wants. Before they split, Axe's wife, Lara (Malin Akerman), is willing to cross any line to ensure their success. Lara eventually leaves Axe, but she and Wendy prove to be the true backbones of their husbands' operations. It's fun to imagine what it would be like to see those two steely women go head-to-head with Wendy Byrde.


"Dopesick," created by Emmy-winning "Game Change" writer Danny Strong, tells the story of the opioid crisis' origins through the perspective of those who caused it, the people who tried to bring them to justice and stop the rampant spread, and representations of some of the patients and others who suffered horrifically. "Billions" remains a largely lighthearted show, avoiding stepping into really dark, dramatic territory, but it doesn't shy away from mentioning when hedge funds like Axe Capital have destroyed a business or affected workers (a reality labor advocates have wanted to address, according to People's World).

The "little guy" often gets screwed over in the name of the rich becoming unnecessarily wealthier. The same thing happened when Purdue Pharma manufactured OxyContin and participated in criminal mislabeling of the drug, making false claims about its addictive nature. "Dopesick" documents and dramatizes key details the public may not have been aware of or entirely understood about the role Purdue Pharma president Richard Sackler and his family played in the drug's misbranding. Beyond the battle between the Sacklers and lawmakers, the series also sheds an empathetic light on addiction that hopefully drills into audiences a new outlook on how we treat those suffering from this mental health disorder. The contexts may be different, and Chuck's methods in "Billions" are not always the most admirable, but both shows provide reasons why the powerful who hurt others with their wealth and greed need to be stopped.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).