On March 17, the fourth season of Billions premiered, and the ending of the show threw many of its fans off guard. At the end of the new episode, the show displayed a simple white-and-black title card that read, “In memory of Dennis Shields.” That title card caused a fury of curious social media posts from both fans of Shields and fans of Billions. Many wanted to know why a show that Shields never appeared on would dedicate its season premiere to the late New York City banker.
In August 2018, Shields shocked his fans, friends, and family when they learned he died of a prescription drug overdose. So, how was Shields connected to the television series Billions while alive?
Shields was a close friend of Brian Koppelman, who is one of the show’s co-creators. After the Billions premiere aired on Sunday, Koppelman took to Twitter to, once again, honor the memory of his late friend.
“Dedicated to Dennis Shields, our brother,” Koppelman tweeted after the show, according to Us Magazine.
When Koppelman first learned of Shields’ death, he responded by posting a tweet that honored the memory of his friend.
“Dennis Shields, who died this morning, was my close friend for 30 years. One of the smartest, most generous, people I ever came across. He was also one of the great storytellers in the world. And understood life’s endless absurdity in his bones. I loved him. And his family,” Koppelman posted on Twitter, according to Us Magazine.
While tweets continue to pop up on Twitter trying to figure out why Billions had dedicated their episode to Shields, Bethenny Frankel, who was romantically tied to Shields for years during their on-again, off-again courtship, jumped in to respond to a tweet.
“We are all connected and have a long history. He is really missed and touched so many people’s lives,” Frankel posted, according to Us Magazine.
Why ‘Billions’ Dedicated Season 4 Premiere to Late Dennis Shields Season 4 of Billions kicked off on Sunday, March 17, and ended on a note that surprised many. “In memory of Dennis Shields,” a black and white title ca... https://t.co/p75fjYGAIl #lifestyle #entertainment #culture pic.twitter.com/f3Zyo2orYh— CelebStarzNews (@CelebStarzNews) March 19, 2019
Four months prior to Shields’ death, he and Frankel got engaged. Frankel admits that she is still struggling with Shields’ passing since she never anticipated that anything like that could happen to him.
“Mourning is tricky business. It’s like the weather. There can be weeks & weeks of sunshine then one day you get whacked with a storm,” Frankel posted in a separate tweet, according to Us Magazine.
Frankel and Shields knew each other as friends for about three decades, which is about as long as Koppelman knew shields. The two got together after Shields divorced his ex-wife, Jill, and the two dated for about two years prior to his death on August 10, 2018.