The Peloton brand has been taking some serious fictional hits as of late.
On Sunday night’s season 6 premiere of “Billions”, a prominent character had a heart attack while exercising on a Peloton bike, much like on a recent episode of another TV series.
In the episode, David Costabile’s character Mike “Wags” Wagner suffers a cardiac event after using the popular at-home exercise bike, and thankfully survives.
Chris Noth’s “Sex and the City” character Mr. Big wasn’t so lucky in the premiere of the revival series “And Just Like That…”, in which he died from a heart attack after riding a Peloton.
Of the similarity between the shows, creator Brian Koppelman explained it was just a coincidence, telling USA Today, “That was all in the show, written a year ago and shot in April.”
Despite that, Koppelman said that after “And Just Like That…” premiered, “Our phones blew up from everyone on the show texting each other. So all we did different was add one line.”
In the “Billions” episode, as Wags returns to the office triumphant after surviving the heart attack, he proudly announces to his colleagues, “I’m not going out like Mr. Big!”
A little less excited about the storyline was the Peloton company, which issued a statement on Twitter explaining the use of its bikes on “Billions” was not something it had agreed to, and that, “as the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.”
We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment. As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) January 23, 2022
In a longer statement to USA Today, Peloton added, “We get why these fictional TV shows would want to include a brand that people love to talk about, but Showtime’s use of Peloton’s Bike+ and reference to a Peloton Instructor was not a brand, product, or instructor placement.”
Peloton, perhaps as a result of these public snafus, recently halted production on their bikes due to a drop in demand.
Additionally, Peloton scrapped a big new ad campaign featuring Noth after multiple allegations of sexual assault were made public following the “And Just Like That…” premiere.
On Twitter, “Billions” fans had fun with the Wags heart attack storyline.
— Welcome Odiosas 💝🙃🦄 (@fancyfaceNeah) January 24, 2022
Peloton after watching Billions Season 6 premier: pic.twitter.com/awdmSwZgQn
— Marie Andersen (@VikingMarie) January 24, 2022
— Sarah Allegra Nehama (@NehamaSarah) January 23, 2022
— Amanda Jackson (@AmandaJ_TX) January 24, 2022