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‘Billions’ Dedicates Season 4 Premiere to Late Dennis Shields, Bethenny Frankel Says They’re ‘All Connected’

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 card read at the premiere’s end. Many fans of the show – and of Shields, who died in August 2018 of an apparent prescription drug overdose, took to Twitter following the episode wondering how he was connected to the series.

Bethenny Frankel on Why Billions Dedicated Season 4 Premiere to Late Dennis Shields
Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel leaving SoHo House on June 14, 2016 in New York, New York Alessio Botticelli/GC Images

Related: Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel's Relationship: A Look Back

Bethenny Frankel, who dated Shields on-and-off for years and got engaged four months before his death, responded to one tweet. “We are all connected and have a long history. He is really missed and touched so many people’s lives,” the Real Housewives of New York City star, 48, tweeted. On Monday, March 18, she admitted she was struggling.

“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,” the Skinnygirl founder wrote.

Related: Reality TV Tragedies

As for what the connection is, the New York City banker was very close with cocreator Brian Koppelman, who tweeted after the episode, “Dedicated to Dennis Shields, our brother.”

Bethenny Frankel on Why Billions Dedicated Season 4 Premiere to Late Dennis Shields
Billions season 4 dedication to Dennis Shields Showtime

At the time of his death, the writer and producer shared his heartbreak. “Dennis Shields, who died this morning, was my close friend for 30 years. One of the smartest, most generous, people I ever came across,” the Ocean’s Thirteen writer, 52, posted on Twitter on August 10. “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 also reflected on his work with Shields over the years, including his part in The Girlfriend Experience, the 2009 film Koppelman wrote with Billions cocreator David Levien.

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“Dennis had a huge impact on my life. But also on my work w Dave through the years. Each of our movies contains a piece of him,” he tweeted following his passing. “There would be no Grama without him. No 500 fights. And definitely no guy in a diaper in The Girlfriend Experience (that was actually Dennis in a cameo).”

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