By Derek Lawrence
January 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST
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Miller Mobley/Showtime

Black Monday

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Thirty-one years after the worst stock market crash in Wall Street history, we’re finally getting answers thanks to the new Showtime series Black Monday, which flashes back to 1980s New York to follow the outsiders who took on the establishment and ended up causing the financial disaster. Well, we’re getting fictional answers.

“To be up-front, we take every liberty,” admits Jordan Cahan (My Best Friend’s Girl), who created the show with Happy Endings mastermind David Caspe. “We did a bunch of research, but at the same time we kind of threw that out because it seemed like more fun.”

Jokingly described by Cahan as “a little mystery, a lot of comedy, an immense amount of cocaine,” the series features a strong ensemble cast, including Andrew Rannells (Girls), Paul Scheer (The League), and Regina Hall (The Hate U Give), and is fronted by two-time Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle. The 54-year-old actor wasn’t looking to return to television so soon after wrapping Showtime’s House of Lies in 2016, but Black Monday’s potential quickly changed his mind. “You haven’t seen this before on TV,” he promises. And that goes double for his character, Wall Street maverick Maurice Monroe, who loves his cocaine and robot butler equally. “He’s a wild card,” says Cheadle. “He kind of lives on his insane gut and instinct. It’s fun to play a live wire like that.”

Cahan and Caspe say Cheadle is the perfect actor to balance the comedy and serialized-drama aspects of the show’s multiple mysteries, such as the deadly one introduced in the first episode’s opening scene. Teases Caspe: “[It’s] kind of like the musical chairs of death.”

Black Monday premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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