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Rye Baseball Diamond Doubles As Set For Showtime 'Billions' TV Pilot Series

"Teddy," a child actor from Long Island, at bat at Rye High School on Tuesday on the set of "Billions,'' the third episode of a 12-part television pilot being produced by Showtime for  broadcast in 2016. The boy played for the fictional "Hawks."
"Teddy," a child actor from Long Island, at bat at Rye High School on Tuesday on the set of "Billions,'' the third episode of a 12-part television pilot being produced by Showtime for broadcast in 2016. The boy played for the fictional "Hawks." Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Oscar nominee and Emmy Award-winning actor Paul Giamatti of New Haven, Conn. (left of the third-base coach in orange) looks on intently as a young player heads for second base in Rye on Tuesday. "Take second. Take third,'' the Hawks' coach yells.
Oscar nominee and Emmy Award-winning actor Paul Giamatti of New Haven, Conn. (left of the third-base coach in orange) looks on intently as a young player heads for second base in Rye on Tuesday. "Take second. Take third,'' the Hawks' coach yells. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
"Teddy,'' the batter's stage name, took a water break and brought his mother a Diet Coke in the 88-degree heat at Rye High. Parents and actors  were prohibited from discussing details of the Showtime pilot, and may not even make the final TV cut.
"Teddy,'' the batter's stage name, took a water break and brought his mother a Diet Coke in the 88-degree heat at Rye High. Parents and actors were prohibited from discussing details of the Showtime pilot, and may not even make the final TV cut. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Yellow signs led Showtime TV film crews, actors and curious passersby to Rye High/Middle School on Tuesday where "BLNS" Base Camp was insider code for a 12-part TV pilot called "Billions," starring New Haven native Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.
Yellow signs led Showtime TV film crews, actors and curious passersby to Rye High/Middle School on Tuesday where "BLNS" Base Camp was insider code for a 12-part TV pilot called "Billions," starring New Haven native Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
A gymnasium floor at Rye High/Middle School was converted into a food, rest and refreshment area for actors, their parents and film crew members on Tuesday during filming of "Billions," a 12-part Showtime TV pilot set to air next year.
A gymnasium floor at Rye High/Middle School was converted into a food, rest and refreshment area for actors, their parents and film crew members on Tuesday during filming of "Billions," a 12-part Showtime TV pilot set to air next year. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Film crew trucks and food vendors lined Rye High School's rear parking lot off Milton Road on Tuesday for Showtime's one-day film shoot of episode three of "Billions," a 12-part pilot series co-created by Scarsdale High graduate Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Film crew trucks and food vendors lined Rye High School's rear parking lot off Milton Road on Tuesday for Showtime's one-day film shoot of episode three of "Billions," a 12-part pilot series co-created by Scarsdale High graduate Andrew Ross Sorkin. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Movie and television actor Paul Giamatti, center, on the set of a Showtime television pilot titled "Billions,'' which filmed parts of "episode three" on the Rye High School baseball field on Tuesday.
Movie and television actor Paul Giamatti, center, on the set of a Showtime television pilot titled "Billions,'' which filmed parts of "episode three" on the Rye High School baseball field on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Child actors "playing" Little League roles at Rye High School's baseball diamond on Tuesday. Academy Award nominee and New Haven native Paul Giamatti stayed out of view from most of the curious Rye passersby and proud parents.
Child actors "playing" Little League roles at Rye High School's baseball diamond on Tuesday. Academy Award nominee and New Haven native Paul Giamatti stayed out of view from most of the curious Rye passersby and proud parents. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Yellow signs led Showtime TV film crews, actors and curious passersby to Rye High/Middle School on Tuesday where "BLNS" Base Camp was insider code for a 12-part TV pilot called "Billions," starring New Haven native Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.
Yellow signs led Showtime TV film crews, actors and curious passersby to Rye High/Middle School on Tuesday where "BLNS" Base Camp was insider code for a 12-part TV pilot called "Billions," starring New Haven native Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Parents acting as Little League baseball fans cheer their Hawks team on Tuesday from bleachers behind the backstop at Rye High School on Tuesday for the 12-part Showtime television pilot "Billions,'' set to air next year.
Parents acting as Little League baseball fans cheer their Hawks team on Tuesday from bleachers behind the backstop at Rye High School on Tuesday for the 12-part Showtime television pilot "Billions,'' set to air next year. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

RYE, N.Y. -- A baseball game was in full swing on Tuesday in scorching 88-degree heat at Rye High School's home field.

But it was the Hawks against the Ravens (not the Harrison Huskies against the Rye Garnets) and it involved fictional Little League teams being filmed for episode three of a 12-part Showtime pilot. Yellow road signs marked "BLNS" -- insider code for "Billions" -- led film crews, trailer caravans and actors to Rye High/Middle School parking lots.

Child actors from as far away as New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut flocked to the Rye athletic fields off Boston Post Road for a one-day film shoot.

"Billions" is a project co-created by Andrew Ross Sorkin, a 1995 graduate of Scarsdale High School, financial reporter with The New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Showtime's pilot purportedly chronicles conflicts and collusion between a fictional U.S. Attorney from New York and a cache of rich hedge fund managers. The blue Ravens' baseball squad shirts carried a sponsor name "Silverblade Capital,'' on their backs -- if that yields a clue for prospective TV series' fans.

"Teddy," a young batter from Long Island, performed take after take for hours Tuesday afternoon between water breaks and parents hovering by to make sure their children -- most of them hired through talent agencies -- were well-hydrated. A bleacher full of baseball "parent" actors cheered from behind the Rye backstop. Academy Award nominee and New Haven native Paul Giamatti, arms crossed while standing next to the Hawks' third-base coach, looked on as runners rounded the bases.

Unlike some of the other promising star actors invited for baseball roles on Tuesday, "Teddy" actually will play in Little League playoffs this month in Cooperstown, N.Y., according to his mother, who said, "It looks like he is having a blast." Parents of actors were prohibited from taking any photos on the TV film set.

Passersby tried to catch sneak peeks of Giamatti -- an Emmy Award-winning actor who stars in the pilot set to premiere in 2016. "Billions" also features British actor/producer Damian Lewis, best known for military officer roles in Showtime's "Homeland" -- which landed Lewis a Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Award -- and HBO's "Band of Brothers."

Loyal film crew members and security guards kept parents, curious dog walkers and news photographers away from most of the TV film action on the Rye High baseball diamond.

Longford's Ice Cream shop, a popular mainstay in Rye, dispatched an ice cream truck to the delight of perspiring young actors and production crew.

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