Peloton Gets Slammed As Season Six Of ‘Billion’ Takes Another Dig At It

‘Billions’ showrunner Brian Koppelman claims it to be a coincidence.

Seems like the time for exercise equipment company Peloton is just not right. After a stock crash and the specter of job cuts, after the main character on HBO’s “S** and the City” sequel series died from a heart attack taking a Peloton cycling class, a similar plotline unfolded in the Season 6 premiere of “Billions,” making the situation worse for the company. 

In the showtime drama “Billions,” the brand faced a déjà vu moment after the main character Mike Wagner suffers a heart attack while riding a Peloton Bike in Sunday’s episode. He recovers shortly thereafter, however, and says later in the episode, “It’s a small heart attack. I’m not going out like Mr. Big,” referring to the “S** and the City” Peloton’s appearance. 

For the uninitiated, in the “S** and the city” sequel “And Just Like That,” Mr. Big, Chris Noth’s character in the show, was suddenly killed off 39 minutes into the first episode of a heart attack while riding Peloton. It was a controversial move that left fans of the franchise shocked. The death of his character hurt the company’s very real stock prices so much that Peloton tried to quickly turn the situation around with an ad featuring Ryan Reynolds and Mr. Big’s actor, Chris Noth. 

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The ad directly calls out the show, explaining the health benefits of regular cycling and ending with “he’s alive.” Unfortunately, days later, Peloton scrubbed the ad from the internet after two women accused Noth of s**ual assault. 

However, despite the brands efforts to rebuild its image, another dig at Peloton wasn’t appreciated.

‘We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment. As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives,’ the company tweeted ahead of Sunday’s on-air premiere.

Peloton also said in a statement that it didn’t agree for its brand and intellectual property to be used on the show and didn’t provide any equipment. “Showtime’s use of Peloton’s Bike+ and reference to a Peloton instructor was not a brand and product placement,” the company said adding, “cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.”

‘Billions’ showrunner, Brian Koppelman claims it to be a coincidence.

Koppelman said the episode was filmed last April, and after the death of Mr Big, the writers decided to add a quick scene in the premiere where Wags returns triumphantly to the office saying, “I’m not going out like Mr. Big” amid raucous cheers and applause.

“That was all in the show, written a year ago and shot in April,” he said. But after “And Just Like That…” aired, “our phones blew up from everyone on the show texting each other,” Koppelman added. “So all we did differently was add one line.” 

The fitness company enjoyed a boom during the pandemic when consumers locked at home sought out its stationary bikes and fitness classes. But with slowing growth, Chief Executive Officer John Foley said this week that the company is considering layoffs and other cutbacks. 

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