Peloton is not happy to be featured in yet another scene where a TV character has a heart attack. On Sunday night's new episode of Billions, Wags (David Costabile) suffers a mild heart attack on the now-iconic stationary bike. After some similar representation in the Sex and the City revival, Peloton was not pleased.
"We get TV shows want to include [Peloton] to get people talking, but to be clear we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on [Billions] or provide any equipment," the official Peloton account tweeted on Sunday. "As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives." A person close to the Billions production told The Wrap that this heart attack scene was filmed way back in spring of 2021 – before Sex and the City pulled a similar stunt. The line referencing Mr. Big was reportedly added in later.
For those unaware, the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That... premiered last month. In the process of catching fans up on all its characters, it shows John "Mr. Big" Preston (Chris North) working out hard on his Peloton bike. The pilot episode ends with Mr. Big having a heart attack and dying in Carrie's (Sarah Jessica Parker) arms.
On Billions, things were a bit less grim. Mike "Wags" Wagner suffered a mild heart attack on the bike, but as he struggled for breath he said: "I'm not going out like Mr. Big!" The reference was reportedly added by producers just recently to keep the show up to date.
Peloton was initially able to capitalize on the tragic portrayal by creating a new ad with Ryan Reynolds that poked fun at the Sex and the City scene. However, shortly after it aired multiple women came forward and accused North of sexual assault. Peloton pulled the ad from circulation, while North is still denying these accusations.
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.— Peloton (@onepeloton) January 23, 2022
Perhaps the cast and creators of Billions are hoping to get in on that advertising action with their own grim joke. The series is in its sixth season now and continues to paint a bleak picture of the world of big finance. It centers around hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis and the U.S. Attorney trying to prosecute him for white-collar crimes, Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti).
The Billions Season 6 premiere left a big impression, but the best is yet to come. The season continues on Sunday, Jan. 30 on Showtime. The whole series is streaming now on the Showtime app.