Showtime is making a bet on "Billions," a new drama series set in the world of high finance, co-created by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin and starring Emmy winners Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. The pay cable channel has ordered it to series, with a 12-episode first season to debut sometime next year.

Per the Showtime announcement, "'Billions' is a fictional drama that takes an insider look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures – the hard charging, politically savvy U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti), and the brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king, Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Lewis). Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile and Condola Rashad also star."

Sorkin, who knows this world well from his reporting (including "Too Big to Fail," the movie version of which featured Giamatti), and is writing and producing it with Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The pilot will be directed by Neil Burger ("Divergent").

This will be Giamatti's first regular American TV series role (he won his Emmy for the "John Adams" miniseries, and FX passed on his Hoke Mosley pilot last year), whereas Showtime viewers know Lewis very well from his stint on "Homeland."

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at