“Billions” Creators Making Limited Series Called “The Battle for Uber”

“Billions” Creators Making Limited Series Called “The Battle for Uber”

On January 17, 2016, “Billions” was released, and so far, it has aired four seasons with the fifth season underway after being renewed on May 8, 2019. The show has been nominated for two years consecutively as the outstanding drama series and once as the best drama TV series. David Levien and Brian Koppelman are behind the creation of “Billions,” and with their knack for true stories, they have decided to produce a limited series “The Battle for Uber.” Just as “Billions” was loosely based on Preet Bharara and his legal battles with Steve Cohen, this new series is also inspired by another true story. Uber has had its ups and down, prompting Mike Isaac to write a book, “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.” David and Brian are basing their new show on the book, and here is everything we know so far about what to expect.

The cautionary tales that may be in the series

Showtime describes the limited series as a cautionary tale, and indeed, the many scandals can help warn other firms of questionable dealings. Mike Isaac’s book discloses Uber’s story, from its founding, IPO, and former CEO’s woes that led to his ousting. Many scandals portrayed Uber in a bad light, among which is the safe rides fee. The company claimed that it was charging customers an additional $1 for improved mobile app features. They added that it would enable customers to conduct intensive background checks on Uber drivers, but the book disregards the claim.

According to “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” the fee was to improve the company’s revenues. The move was successful because the transportation company gained almost $449 million in two years after they began charging that extra $1. However, the court did not take kindly to the misleading move. To serve as a cautionary tale for others, it slapped Uber with $32.5 million in settlement of the allegations made.

Mike Isaac told New York Magazine that the book contains lots of stories to help show that company culture is important. He added that the culture, if not handled properly, can get out of control. He tells a few incidents such as that of a woman who texts her manager that she fears she might be raped. However, the manager did not care and replied that she should not worry. In his opinion, Uber has a great health care plan; hence would pay her medical bills if she was raped.

A case study of insanity and ingenuity

Showtime Network’s President of Entertainment, Jana Winograde, said that Uber is the ideal case study of madness and ingenuity. She added that the company’s story is rich in plot twists, which will ensure that the limited series will be a success. The ingenuity part could be about how the company was founded. Allegedly, Garrett Camp wanted to reduce the cost of a lift after spending $800 on New Year’s Eve to hire a private car. UberCab was established in 2009, but it is only in 2011 that it received its first significant funding of $11 million from Sequoia and Benchmark Capital.

However, that was not before jumping hurdles, including being ordered to stop operations by both the California Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. They proved their insanity by continuing to operate despite the warning. Since the only problem was that they were advertising themselves as a taxicab company, they dropped “cab” from their name; hence, Uber was born. Its craziness did not stop there because they were determined to make it no matter what. The executives, therefore, threatened to dig up dirt on any journalist who criticized Uber, but the real threat was the taxi companies.

Expect to see the circumstances leading up to the ousting of Travis Kalanick

The series is already said to pivot not just on Travis Kalanick’s ousting, but also the highs and lows of Silicon Valley. SFWeekly reveals that one primary reason that Travis was sent packing was that those richer than Travis wanted him gone. According to the article, such people are the only ones who can make a Silicon Valley founder be dismissed from his job.

However, Travis was not rooting for himself with his behavior. Another story that will most probably be into the series has to do with the famous “Miami letter.” Travis detailed out the sex rules for his employees despite being warned not to send the email due to the tone. He did not heed the warning, and while that was in 2013, the next year, he told an interviewer that he got so much action as the CEO that he called the company “Boob-er.” As if that was not enough, in March 2017, Travis was caught on camera berating an Uber driver. Travis later went on to say he needed leadership help, so perhaps his ousting was the only way he could be helped.

More about the creators of the limited series

Brian and David will not only be the executive producers of “The Battle for Uber,” but also the writers. Since they are basing their production on Mike’s book, Mike Isaac will be a co-executive producer. The two have been working together since 1998 when they got their big break with “Rounders.” They have other credits, including “Ocean’s 13” and “Walking Tall.” This new series only shows the dedication the two have now that Showtime signed an overall deal with them to develop new projects while also continuing as showrunners for “Billions.”

With the success of “Billions,” it is fair to say that “The Battle for Uber,” which has even more juicy stories, will gain a broad audience as soon as it is released. It is still not clear when the series will be released. It may take a while given that the producers have their hands full with “Billions,” which could premiere in late March 2021.

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