Succession (TV series)

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Succession
SuccessionTV.png
Genre
Created byJesse Armstrong
Starring
Composer(s)Nicholas Britell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Regina Heyman
  • Dara Schnapper
Production location(s)New York
CinematographyAndrij Parekh
Editor(s)Mark Yoshikawa
Running time56–66 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkHBO
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio format5.1 surround
Original releaseJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Succession is an American satirical comedy-drama television series created by Jesse Armstrong. It premiered on June 3, 2018, on HBO, and has been renewed for a third season.[6] The series centers on the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of Waystar Royco, a global media and hospitality empire, who are fighting for control of the company amid uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox).

Among the series ensemble cast are Kieran Culkin as Roman, Sarah Snook as Siobhan, and Jeremy Strong as Kendall, Logan's children employed by the company. Matthew Macfadyen stars as Tom Wambsgans, Siobhan's husband and Waystar executive, Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch, Logan's grandnephew also employed by the company, Alan Ruck as Connor, Logan's eldest child, and Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy, Logan's wife. The series also features Peter Friedman, Natalie Gold, and Rob Yang, with Dagmara Domińczyk, Arian Moayed, and J. Smith-Cameron in recurring roles, before being promoted to the main cast.

Succession has received critical acclaim and, among its accolades, won the British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme and the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama.[7] Cox received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama, while Culkin has received two nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.[8] The series also received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, winning for writing in 2019. In 2020, the series received eighteen nominations at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series and acting nominations for Cox, Strong, Culkin, Macfadyen, Braun, Snook, James Cromwell, Cherry Jones, and Harriet Walter.[9]

Premise[edit]

Succession follows the Roy family, owners of media conglomerate Waystar Royco. The family patriarch, Logan Roy (Cox), has experienced a decline in health. His four children – removed oldest son Connor (Ruck), power-hungry Kendall (Strong), irreverent Roman (Culkin), and politically savvy Siobhan (Snook) – all with varying degrees of connection to the company, begin to prepare for a future without their father,[10] and each begins vying for prominence within the company.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Brian Cox as Logan Roy, the founder of media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar Royco. He is a brash leader whose primary focus is his company rather than his four children Connor, Kendall, Siobhan, and Roman. He is married to Marcia, his third wife.
  • Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy, the second son of Logan Roy, from his second marriage. The presumed natural successor to Logan, he is struggling to prove his worth to his father amid bungling major deals and struggling with substance abuse, as well as struggling to maintain a relationship with his estranged wife, Rava.
  • Sarah Snook as Siobhan "Shiv" Roy, the youngest child and only daughter of Logan Roy from his second marriage. She is a political fixer, working for a time for presidential candidate Gil Eavis, whose political views clash with Waystar. She is married to Tom Wambsgans.
  • Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, the third and youngest son of Logan Roy, from his second marriage. Roman is immature, does not take responsibilities seriously, and often finds himself lacking the common sense his father requires of him. He is frequently at odds with his brother Kendall, with whom he is often vying for power and attention from their father.
  • Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans, the husband of Shiv Roy and a Waystar executive who is promoted from heading the amusement park and cruise division to running the global news outlet. He is a people-pleaser and enjoys his proximity to the Roy family's power but is frequently dismissed by the Roys, and uses underlings like Greg to wield his power.
  • Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch, the grandnephew of Logan Roy and grandson of Ewan Roy. Greg is unfamiliar with the rough terrain he must navigate to win over Logan, and finds himself indentured to Tom Wambsgans in his quest for an in at Waystar and with the family.
  • Alan Ruck as Connor Roy, the eldest son of Logan Roy, from his first marriage. Connor is mostly removed from the corporate drama, preferring to defer to his siblings on most firm-related matters. In season 2, he announces his bid for President of the United States.
  • Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy, the third wife of Logan Roy. Born and raised in Beirut, she is often at odds with Logan's children, whose trust she has yet to earn. She has a son, Amir, from her first marriage.
  • Peter Friedman as Frank Vernon, the COO of Waystar Royco and long time confidant of Logan Roy. Frank is a member of Logan's old guard on whom Kendall frequently relies to help win back Logan's favor.
  • Natalie Gold as Rava Roy (season 1), the estranged wife of Kendall Roy.
  • Rob Yang as Lawrence Yee, the founder of media website Vaulter that is acquired by Waystar Royco.
  • Dagmara Domińczyk as Karolina (season 2, recurring season 1), Head of PR for Waystar Royco and a member of Waystar Royco's legal team.
  • Arian Moayed as Stewy Hosseini (season 2, recurring season 1), a financier and friend of Kendall's who becomes a member of Waystar Royco's board.
  • J. Smith-Cameron as Gerri Kellman (season 2, recurring season 1), general counsel to Waystar Royco who is also godmother to Siobhan and a mentor to Roman.

Recurring[edit]

  • Mary Birdsong as Marianne Hirsch (season 1), Logan's niece and Greg's mother.
  • Molly Griggs as Grace (season 1), Roman's ex-girlfriend.
  • Justine Lupe as Willa, Connor Roy's young girlfriend who aspires to be a playwright and is a former call girl.
  • Scott Nicholson as Colin, Logan's body man.
  • Swayam Bhatia as Sophie Roy, Kendall's daughter.
  • Quentin Morales as Iverson Roy, Kendall's son who is autistic.
  • David Rasche as Karl, Waystar Royco's chief financial officer and member of the company's legal team.
  • Judy Reyes as Eva (season 1), a member of Waystar Royco's legal team and an executive producer at ATN, a news channel owned by Waystar Royco.
  • Juliana Canfield as Jess Jordan, Kendall's assistant.
  • Jake Choi as Tatsuya (season 1), an associate of Lawrence.
  • Larry Pine as Sandy Furness, the owner of a rival media conglomerate who plots a hostile takeover of Waystar Royco with Kendall and Stewy.
  • Ashley Zukerman as Nate Sofrelli, a political strategist and former romantic partner of Shiv's. He convinces her to work on the Eavis presidential campaign, reigniting their former affair.
  • Mark Blum as Bill, the retiring head of Waystar Royco's Adventure Parks division.
  • Eisa Davis as Joyce Miller (season 1), the former attorney general of New York elected to a seat in the United States Senate for whom Shiv serves as a political strategist.
  • Peggy J. Scott as Jeane (season 1), Logan's secretary.
  • James Cromwell as Ewan Roy, Logan's estranged older brother and Greg's grandfather who resides in Canada.
  • Darius Homayoun as Amir (season 1), Marcia's son who announces at Thanksgiving dinner that he has been hired to head Waystar Royco's animation division in Europe.
  • Eric Bogosian as Gil Eavis, a Sandersesque presidential candidate whom Nate introduces to Shiv. He is vocally opposed to Waystar Royco's attempted takeover of local news networks and becomes a target of their cable news network ATN because of it.
  • Caitlin FitzGerald as Tabitha, Roman's girlfriend who had previously had a sexual encounter with Tom at his bachelor party.
  • Harriet Walter as Caroline Collingwood, the second wife of Logan Roy and Kendall, Shiv, and Roman's mother.
  • Jack Gilpin as Mr. Wambsgans (season 1), Tom's father.
  • Kristin Griffith as Mrs. Wambsgans (season 1), Tom's mother and a highly respected attorney in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area.
  • Danny Huston as Jamie Laird (season 2), a banker and financier who advises Logan during the proxy battle against Stewy and Sandy, as well as during his attempted acquisition of PMG.
  • Jeannie Berlin as Cyd Peach (season 2), head of Waystar Royco's news network who butts heads with Tom after his promotion.
  • Jessica Hecht as Michelle Pantsil (season 2), a writer researching an unauthorized biography of Logan.
  • Holly Hunter as Rhea Jarrell (season 2), the CEO of Pierce Media Group who aligns herself with Logan during the attempted acquisition.
  • Cherry Jones as Nan Pierce (season 2), the de facto head of the Pierce family and majority owner of PMG.
  • Annabelle Dexter-Jones as Naomi Pierce (season 2), Nan Pierce's niece who suffers from substance abuse and falls for Kendall.
  • Fisher Stevens as Hugo Baker (season 2), a senior comms exec in charge of managing a scandal involving Brightstar cruise lines.
  • Babak Tafti as Eduard Asgarov (season 2), an Azerbaijani billionaire pursued by Roman for his money and ties to the Azerbaijani sovereign wealth. Co-owns the Heart of Midlothian Football Club with Roman.

Guest[edit]

  • Parker Sawyers as Alessandro Daniels ("Celebration"),[a] an executive of Waystar Royco present during the Vaulter acquisition meetings.
  • Annika Boras as Anna Newman ("Sad Sack Wasp Trap"), an on-air personality at ATN, the news network owned by Waystar Royco, that Kendall takes to the family's annual charity event, the Roy Endowment Creative New York (RECNY) ball.
  • David Patrick Kelly as Paul Chambers ("Which Side Are You On?"), a member of Waystar Royco's board that votes against a vote of no confidence in regards to Logan.
  • Griffin Dunne as Dr. Alon Parfit ("Austerlitz"), a corporate therapist hired to work with the Roy family as Logan attempts to rehabilitate their public image.
Notes
  1. ^ Credited among the main cast in the pilot only.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedAverage viewership
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
110June 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)August 5, 2018 (2018-08-05)0.603[11]
210August 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)October 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)0.597[12]

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Celebration"Adam McKayJesse ArmstrongJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)0.582[13]
Members of the Roy family prepare to celebrate the 80th birthday of Logan Roy, CEO of the family owned media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. Logan's second-oldest son Kendall believes he is the company heir following Logan's retirement, but Logan shocks his family at his birthday celebration by announcing that he will not be stepping down as CEO. He presents his children with papers naming his third wife, Marcia, as his successor upon his death. During the family's traditional softball game, Logan fires his longtime COO Frank Vernon, and agrees to give a new position to his estranged great-nephew Greg Hirsch, who was fired from his job at one of Waystar's parks. Kendall leaves the game to secure Waystar's acquisition of the media startup Vaulter. On the helicopter ride back to New York City, Logan and his children Roman, Shiv, and Connor argue over the terms of the agreement, but Logan suddenly collapses from a hemorrhagic stroke and is rushed to the hospital.
22"Shit Show at the Fuck Factory"Mark MylodTony RocheJune 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)0.491[14]
Kendall receives word of Logan's stroke from Lawrence Yee, Vaulter's CEO and Kendall's rival, immediately after securing the acquisition deal, and rushes to the hospital. The Roy children are in disagreement over who should take control of Waystar in the wake of Logan's incapacitation: Roman and Connor want to sign the papers out of respect for their father's wishes, whereas Kendall believes he should become CEO, and Shiv is opposed based on doubts about Marcia's role in the company. Marcia sends Greg to retrieve Logan's items from his apartment. Roman asks Greg to bring the will, but Shiv instructs the opposite; Greg ultimately decides not to bring the papers. Shiv's boyfriend Tom Wambsgans proposes to her at the hospital, and she accepts. It is eventually agreed that Kendall become CEO of Waystar with Roman as COO. Waystar's general counsel Gerri Kellman informs Kendall that Logan is $3 billion in debt due to his expansion into parks. Logan wakes up in his hospital bed.
33"Lifeboats"Mark MylodJonathan GlatzerJune 17, 2018 (2018-06-17)0.605[15]
Kendall learns that Waystar's family holding company is entitled to demand full repayment for Logan's $3 billion debt if Waystar's stock falls below 130 points. After a failed attempt to negotiate with the bank, Kendall enlists the aid of Stewy Hosseini, his friend from college who is now a private-equity investor. Stewy buys a large percentage of the company's stock from Kendall and agrees to sell it in exchange for a seat on Waystar's board. However, Greg later encounters Stewy meeting with Sandy Furness, Logan's enemy who wants to take control of Waystar. Kendall is also trying to repair his marriage with his estranged wife Rava, but after a night together, she confirms she has already hired a divorce lawyer. Shiv hires Nate Sofrelli, a fellow political fixer and former boyfriend, to run a background check on Marcia. Kendall visits a recovering Logan to inform him that Waystar's stock has still fallen below 130, but that his efforts have staved off a greater financial decline. Logan nonetheless disapproves.
44"Sad Sack Wasp Trap"Adam ArkinAnna JordanJune 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)0.543[16]
The Roys prepare for the company's annual foundation gala. Frank is rehired to mentor Roman in his position at COO. Upon receiving his new job title, Tom is given secret documents confirming a massive cover-up of crimes committed on Waystar's cruises, including murder and sexual assault. Panicked, he confides this information to Greg. At the charity gala, Connor notices changes in the transcript of Kendall's speech, leading him to believe that Kendall plans to announce Logan's retirement. He tells Logan, who opts to make a speech in Kendall's place announcing that he is returning to his role as CEO. Tom plans to go public about the cruises scandal, but Gerri advises against it during the gala. Tom angrily accuses Greg of snitching to Gerri about the scandal, which Greg denies. However, Gerri later thanks Greg in private, confirming that he did disclose the information to her.
55"I Went to Market"Adam ArkinGeorgia PritchettJuly 1, 2018 (2018-07-01)0.583[17]
Marcia invites Logan's estranged brother Ewan to Thanksgiving, and Greg travels to Canada to pick him up. Logan wants the company to expand into local news, against the advice of his children and counsel. Kendall plots to hold a vote of no confidence against his father amidst his erratic behavior. Tom sends Greg to shred company documents pertaining to the cruises scandal, but Greg secretly makes copies. During dinner, an argument erupts between Logan and Ewan over the company and family's values, and Ewan storms out, warning Greg not to trust the Roys. As he leaves, Kendall suggests the possibility of a company takeover to Ewan - who is on Waystar's board - but Ewan refuses to conspire against his own brother. The dinner falls apart after Logan strikes Kendall's son Iverson during a game. Logan's behavior convinces Gerri to support Kendall in his vote of no confidence.
66"Which Side Are You On?"Andrij ParekhSusan Soon He StantonJuly 8, 2018 (2018-07-08)0.673[18]
Kendall, Frank and Roman work together to amass a majority vote in favor of removing Logan from his position as CEO. Roman is able to sway Lawrence to their side. Logan travels to Washington D.C. for a meeting with the President, but the meeting is cancelled last-minute amid concerns regarding a terror threat. Greg has dinner with Ewan, who informs him of the vote of no confidence and advises him to stay out of it. Greg then attends a second dinner with Tom, to whom he discloses his knowledge of the vote. On the day of the vote, Kendall flies to Long Island to visit an ailing board member at her home to convince her to vote with him, but is unable to take a helicopter back to Manhattan due to a lockdown over the terror threat. He is then delayed in his arrival to the vote while stuck in traffic, and Frank begins the vote without him. However, a furious Logan refuses to leave the room during the vote and instead berates several board members (including Roman) to side with him, and fires everyone who voted against, including Kendall and Frank. Logan later takes a call from the President after the terror threat subsides, telling him he has "dealt with terrorists of his own."
77"Austerlitz"Miguel ArtetaLucy PrebbleJuly 15, 2018 (2018-07-15)0.626[19]
Kendall has cut off communications with his family and is suing Logan for firing him from Waystar. Tabloids suggest that Kendall, a recovering addict, has relapsed, but Kendall unconvincingly insists to Rava that he has not. Logan attempts to repair his public image by holding a weekend family therapy session at Austerlitz, Connor's ranch in New Mexico, which Kendall chooses not to attend. After a fruitless initial session, Shiv leaves to meet with Senator Gil Eavis, a staunchly liberal presidential candidate and Logan's public rival, after Nate persuades her to join him in working on Eavis' campaign. Afterwards, she and Nate have a sexual encounter in her car. Kendall eventually does arrive in New Mexico, but chooses to join some locals on a cocaine and methamphetamine binge. Roman brings him back to the ranch, where an argument erupts between Logan and the rest of the family. Logan insults Tom and berates Shiv for meeting with Eavis, causing her to leave crying. He also admits to planting the tabloid allegations about Kendall's drug use prior to his actual relapse. Logan is later seen swimming with visible scars on his back, suggesting that he was abused.
88"Prague"S. J. ClarksonJon BrownJuly 22, 2018 (2018-07-22)0.637[20]
Roman is put in charge of planning Tom's bachelor party. Though he initially wants to host it in Prague, Stewy invites him to a secret underground party held inside an abandoned New York railway station. Logan tasks Greg with ensuring Kendall's safety, because he has fully relapsed into his cocaine addiction. Tom is initially drawn to the party's unhinged and sexual atmosphere, but he becomes doubtful about his relationship with Shiv, unaware of her ongoing affair with Nate. He is eventually goaded by Roman into having sex with a woman at the party. Shiv meets Logan for dinner, where he implies that he knows of her affair. Shiv, perceiving this as a veiled threat, refuses to stop working for Eavis. Marcia later calls Shiv to say that Logan will not be attending Shiv and Tom's wedding. At the party, Kendall encounters Angela, one of the founders of a startup he attempted to acquire, but she rebuffs him out of disdain for his family name. Kendall then meets with Stewy and Sandy, who want to buy out his share in Waystar RoyCo for a half-billion. A vengeful Kendall agrees to the takeover on the condition that he become CEO.
99"Pre-Nuptial"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongJuly 29, 2018 (2018-07-29)0.558[21]
The Roys gather at an English castle in preparation for Shiv and Tom's wedding. Shiv believes Logan won't be present, but Logan chooses to attend to avoid the poor optics of being absent. Kendall, Roman and Shiv reunite with their mother, Caroline, who is Logan's second wife. To Tom's surprise, Roman is dating Tabitha, the woman with whom Tom previously had an embarrassing sexual encounter. Nate meets Tom and tells him of his history with Shiv, but when Tom confronts Shiv about her infidelity, she denies it and instead asks to know about the cruise files he covered up. Greg later spots Shiv and Nate talking, but when he attempts to relay his suspicions to Tom the following morning, Tom attacks him. Shiv tells Gerri that she will let the cruise scandal remain covered up as long as ATN - a right-leaning news network owned by Waystar - stop slandering Eavis over his wife's suicide. Eavis and Logan later shake hands on the truce. Kendall is told by Stewy and Sandy that their takeover of Waystar has been moved up to the day of Shiv's wedding, as they would have more leverage over Logan while he is out of the country.
1010"Nobody Is Ever Missing"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongAugust 5, 2018 (2018-08-05)0.730[22]
Kendall informs Logan of his "bear hug" of Waystar RoyCo. A furious Logan kicks him out, but begins scrambling to get ahead of the situation with his lawyers immediately afterwards. Roman, whom Logan had placed in charge of a Japanese satellite launch, privately watches the live broadcast, where the shuttle explodes on the launchpad. He later learns from Gerri that no one was killed. Connor tells Willa, his escort "girlfriend," that he plans to run for President of the United States. During the wedding reception, Logan gathers his children aside and confirms Kendall's plan to take over the company, which infuriates them. Shiv admits her infidelity to Tom and suggests that she is better suited for a non-monogamous relationship. Tom forgives her and later ejects Nate from the wedding. While searching for cocaine, Kendall runs into Greg, who reveals that he kept copies of the cruise documents as leverage to get him a better position in the company. Kendall, impressed, agrees to his wishes. Outside the castle, Kendall does drugs with Andrew Dodds, a young waiter whom Logan had fired from the staff, and the two drive off in search of cocaine. They swerve to avoid a deer, and the car lands in the water. Unable to save Andrew, Kendall flees the scene and returns to the wedding in shock. The police investigate the following morning, and Logan tells Kendall that he will make the case go away if Kendall calls off the bear hug and attends rehab. Kendall obliges and breaks down crying in his father's arms.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
111"The Summer Palace"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongAugust 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)0.612[23]
Forty-eight hours after Tom and Shiv's wedding, Kendall is in rehab in Iceland, where he is called away to give a public statement regarding his decision to back off from the bear hug. A traumatized and disoriented Kendall is instructed to simply say, "I saw their plan, and my dad's plan was better." Logan's financial adviser Jamie Laird suggests that he sell the company and name his successor. Despite going to rehab, Kendall continues to indulge his cocaine addiction and receives his deliveries from Greg. The Roys assemble for lunch at the family's summer home in the Hamptons, where the children are in dispute over Kendall's continued role in the company. Logan has each of his children individually meet him in his office, and offers Shiv the role of CEO during their meeting. Shiv is interested, but doesn't disclose this to Tom, only telling him that he has been promoted to ATN's Chair of Global Broadcast News. Logan flies Kendall to a meeting with Stewy and Sandy, who refuse to come to a compromise. Kendall promises them that they will lose the fight.
122"Vaulter"Andrij ParekhJon BrownAugust 18, 2019 (2019-08-18)0.603[24]
Eavis promotes Shiv to chief of staff for his presidential campaign. Connor and Willa return to New York, where Connor prepares to announce his own bid for President. Logan and Shiv meet to talk strategy, where Logan suggests that it would take three years for her to fully integrate into her CEO role. Tom tasks Greg with rooting out inefficiencies in ATN's operations, despite Greg's reluctance to work for the network. Greg eventually suggests that they digitize the entire business. Kendall and Roman independently review Vaulter's performance. Kendall wants to keep the company, but Roman reports to Logan that its business is failing and that its employees want to unionize. Logan sides with Roman and tasks Kendall with closing down Vaulter. Shiv tells Tom that Logan offered her the role of CEO, which puts Tom's ambitions to inherit the company in jeopardy. Shiv assures him that his inheritance is safe. Shiv later quits Eavis' campaign. Kendall secretly installs Wi-Fi blockers in Vaulter's offices, and terminates its employees the following morning, flatly telling Lawrence that he is doing so on his father's orders.
133"Hunting"Andrij ParekhTony RocheAugust 25, 2019 (2019-08-25)0.607[26]
Greg meets with Michelle Pantsil, an editor seeking to write a biography on Logan, but abruptly leaves when he learns he is being recorded. Logan wants Waystar to acquire rival media giant PGM, and rehires Frank due to his friendship with the head of its board. Shiv, however, disapproves of the plan and privately tells Gerri to have Tom talk Logan out of it. Roman, meanwhile, asks Tabitha to use her connection with PGM board member Naomi Pierce to broach Logan's idea, though he does not inform Logan of this. The family departs on a hunting retreat in Hungary. While on the plane, Logan is furious to learn that someone disclosed information on him to Pantsil and demands to know who it was. While hunting, Greg confides to Tom that he was the source, and asks that he keep it secret. Connor announces his presidential bid on a platform against taxation, alarming Shiv. Shiv has a one-night stand while Tom is away. During dinner, Logan finds out that PGM is already aware of his plans, and subjects Greg, Tom and Karl to a viciously humiliating game, which he calls "Boar on the Floor",[25] until the source comes forth. Kendall finds out that it was Roman who reached out to PGM, though Roman insists that he did so to help Logan. Kendall tells Logan that no one in the room supports his plan to acquire PGM, but Logan insists on doing so regardless. The next morning, Logan learns that Mo, a recently deceased board member, talked to Pantsil, which absolves Greg of suspicion. Frank informs Logan that PGM's CEO is interested in a meeting.
144"Safe Room"Shari Springer Berman and Robert PulciniGeorgia PritchettSeptember 1, 2019 (2019-09-01)[a]0.577[27]
Logan and Kendall meet with Rhea Jarrell, CEO of PGM, who relays the Pierce family's disinterest in selling their company to Waystar. Tom investigates ATN anchor Mark Ravenhead, an alleged Nazi sympathizer, but their meeting is cut short by the sound of a gunshot. Waystar and ATN staff are ushered into panic rooms, where Kendall and Logan sway Rhea with a large offer to buy PGM. Rhea agrees to present Logan's offer to the Pierces on the condition that Ravenhead is fired from ATN. The source of the gunshot is found to have been an ATN employee who committed suicide in his office. Greg reveals to Tom that he kept copies of the cruise documents and blackmails him into giving him a promotion. Connor and Willa attend Mo (real name Lester McClintock)'s funeral in search of donors for Connor's presidential campaign. Pantsil is present and presses Connor on his association with Lester, a known sexual predator, but Willa helps rewrite Connor's eulogy into a series of generic statements to sabotage Pantsil's story. Roman, following Gerri's advice on how to earn Logan's respect, enrolls in Waystar's management training program. He later finds himself sexually aroused by Gerri's humiliation over the phone. Kendall confides to Shiv his belief that his loyalty to Logan is all he is worth. He later finds glass suicide barriers installed on Waystar's rooftop.
155"Tern Haven"Mark MylodWill TracySeptember 8, 2019 (2019-09-08)0.507[28]
The Roys spend a weekend with the Pierces at their family estate. Logan is determined to buy PGM and instructs each of his children on how to make a good impression with the Pierce family, but both Shiv and Connor clash with some of the members. During dinner, conversations between the Roys and the Pierces become increasingly tense and culminate when family matriarch Nan Pierce asks Logan who will replace him as CEO. Logan refuses to name his successor, and an incensed Shiv stuns the room by announcing she has been chosen to take over Waystar. Kendall does drugs with Nan's cousin Naomi, also a recovering addict who flew in from California to aid in negotiations. She admits she despises the Roy family for running tabloids on her during her troubled past, and that she came to ensure that the acquisition deal fails. The following morning, however, Nan agrees to sell PGM to the Roys on the condition that Shiv be named Logan's successor on the day of the merger. Logan refuses and calls off the deal. However, he later receives a call saying the Pierces have changed their mind. The Roys celebrate at Logan's home.
166"Argestes"Matt ShakmanSusan Soon He StantonSeptember 15, 2019 (2019-09-15)0.610[29]
The Roys - with the exception of Shiv - attend Argestes, an international business conference, where they plan to finalize their agreement with the Pierces. However, they learn that New York Magazine has received a tip on the cruise line scandal and plans to publish an exposé within the next 36 to 48 hours. Shiv is called to the conference to help handle the situation. Despite the Roys' attempts to block the story's publication, it goes online the following morning while Logan and Kendall meet with Nan and Rhea. Shiv meets with Rhea, who admits that she wants the Waystar-PGM merger to succeed regardless of the scandal. Roman attempts to secure funding from Eduard Asgarov, a wealthy Azerbaijani investor who agrees to provide his family's money if Waystar will run propaganda on behalf of his home country. Roman and Gerri later discuss the possibility of being business partners. Kendall, Roman and Shiv take the stage for a scheduled panel discussion, but offer conflicting responses to questions about the cruises scandal. Shiv in particular appears to criticize Logan and insinuates that she would a better fit to run the company. An argument ensues after the event, during which Logan strikes Roman. Nan decides to call off the deal and fires Rhea for betraying her and siding with Logan.
177"Return"Becky MartinJonathan GlatzerSeptember 22, 2019 (2019-09-22)0.508[30]
Sandy and Stewy launch a public smear campaign against Waystar in the wake of the cruises story. Logan, Kendall and Roman travel to London to secure shareholder support from Caroline. Logan invites Rhea along to aid in strategy, and the two later spend the night together. Kendall continues his relationship with Naomi Pierce. Shiv arrives in London and meets with Rhea, who proposes that Shiv become CEO of PGM; Shiv is not opposed to the idea. The meeting is subsequently shown to have been orchestrated by Logan. Shiv and Roman meet Caroline, who agrees to take a payout of 20 million dollars in exchange for seeing her children every Christmas. Newspapers publish a story suggesting that Andrew Dodds' death was a suicide triggered by Logan's bullying. Logan and Kendall visit Andrew's family to sort out the situation; Kendall is visibly shaken, and revisits the house that night to secretly deliver cash to the family. Tom faces an internal investigation into the cruises incident. He and Greg burn Greg's copies of the documents, though Greg covertly withholds some of the papers. Shiv meets with Logan to discuss his position in the company, but Logan accuses her of disloyalty to the family, indicating he knows about her interest in working for the Pierces.
188"Dundee"Kevin BrayMary LawsSeptember 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)0.579[31]
Rhea organizes a celebration for Logan's 50th anniversary at Waystar in his hometown of Dundee, Scotland. Shiv distrusts Rhea and schemes with her siblings to sabotage Rhea's chances of being named Logan's successor. Though they play along in hazing Rhea, none of the other Roy children are opposed to having Rhea take over as CEO. Ewan arrives in Dundee and warns Greg that he will relinquish his $250 million inheritance unless he stop working for Waystar. Gerri and other Waystar advisors inform Shiv that a whistleblower plans to go public with details of the cruises incident and is refusing to take a payout. Realizing that Rhea will bear the burden of the scandal as CEO, Shiv gives Logan her approval to name Rhea as his replacement, which he does during a speech at his plaque unveiling ceremony. Ewan confronts his brother at the ceremony and warns him that he will face a reckoning for his actions.
199"DC"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongOctober 6, 2019 (2019-10-06)0.705[32]
The company whistleblower gives a televised interview disclosing his knowledge of the misconduct on Waystar's cruises, naming Lester personally responsible for most of the behavior and implicating Gerri, Tom and Kendall in the cover-up. Eavis compels the Roys to testify before the Senate. Tom is the first to be called to the stand and flubs his responses to Eavis' questioning. Shiv attempts to leverage her past connection to Eavis and learns that he has a second witness. Shiv meets with the woman, Kira, and talks her out of testifying by warning her that her allegations will follow her for the rest of her life. Logan sends Roman to Turkey along with Karl and Laird to make a pitch to Eduard and his father, but the pitch meeting is cut short when anti-corruption militia hold the building's occupants hostage. Logan and Kendall testify; Logan attempts to hold Kendall responsible for overseeing the cruises incident, but Kendall accuses Eavis of basing his investigation on personal bias against the Roys. After the hearing, Rhea tells Logan she no longer wants to be CEO. Logan tells Shiv that a "blood sacrifice" will have to be made to appease the company's shareholders.
2010"This Is Not for Tears"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongOctober 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)0.660[33]
Logan talks with a powerful Waystar shareholder who suggests that Logan take the blame for the cruises incident. The Roys spend a holiday on their extravagant yacht in the Mediterranean, where they debate over who should be the company's public scapegoat. Tom admits to Shiv that he is unhappy with their relationship. Roman, Karl and Laird return from Turkey apparently having closed the financing deal with Eduard's family, though Roman admits to Logan that it is likely illegitimate. Logan and Kendall unsuccessfully attempt to convince Stewy to back Waystar's privatization. Shiv pleads with Logan not to have Tom take the blame for the incident. Logan ultimately chooses Kendall. During a private conversation, Kendall asks Logan if he ever saw him fit to run the company, but Logan tells his son that he doesn't see him as a "killer." The next morning, Kendall and Greg are flown back to New York for a press conference, where Kendall is set to accept responsibility for the scandal. However, he suddenly deviates from his prepared remarks and instead blames Logan, announcing that his father was well aware of the misconduct and personally oversaw the ensuing legal settlements. Greg is present at the conference with the probative documents. Logan, who is watching a telecast of Kendall's statement, smiles enigmatically.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On June 6, 2016, it was announced that HBO had given the production a pilot order. The episode was written by Jesse Armstrong and directed by Adam McKay. Executive producers for the pilot include Armstrong, McKay, Will Ferrell, Frank Rich, and Kevin Messick.[34][35][36] On May 16, 2017, it was announced that HBO had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The previously announced creative team continued their involvement as the series entered into production.[37][38][39][40][41][42]

On November 17, 2017, it was reported that Nicholas Britell would serve as the series' composer.[43] On April 26, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on June 3, 2018.[44] On June 11, 2018, HBO renewed the series for a second season.[45] On May 23, 2019, it was announced that the second season would premiere on August 11, 2019.[46]

On August 20, 2019, HBO renewed the series for a third season.[6] On March 28, 2020, HBO announced the third season's production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[47]

Casting[edit]

On October 6, 2016, it was announced that Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Nicholas Braun, and Matthew Macfadyen had been cast in lead roles in the series' pilot.[48] On November 4, 2016, it was announced that Hiam Abbass, Alan Ruck, Rob Yang, Parker Sawyers, and Peter Friedman had also joined the main cast of the pilot.[49] On January 24, 2018, it was reported that Ashley Zukerman had joined the series in a recurring role.[50] On March 7, 2018, it was reported that Jake Choi had been cast in a recurring role.[51] On May 21, 2019, Holly Hunter joined the cast in a recurring role.[52]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the first season of the series began in October 2017 in New York City at locations including Lexington Avenue and East 75th Street.[53] During the week of November 20, 2017, production took place in the Financial District of Manhattan.[54] In December 2017, the series was reportedly in production on the sixth episode.[55] From mid-January 2018 to the end of the month, the production moved from New York to New Mexico.[56][57][58][53] Filming reportedly took place around the Santa Fe area of the state.[59] On February 22, 2018, filming took place in New Jersey which required the closing of the Atlantic City-Brigantine tunnel.[60][61][62] On February 25, 2018, filming took place at Eastnor Castle near Ledbury in Herefordshire, England.[63] In April and May 2019, casting directors recruited for extras to film scenes in Lake Placid, New York, and Lake George, New York, respectively.[64] Starting from July 17, 2019, the crew filmed in Korčula, Croatia, for the second-season finale, including extensive scenes on a yacht.[65][66]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

Promotional poster

On January 18, 2018, HBO released the first teaser trailer for the series.[67][68][69] On March 27, 2018, a second teaser trailer was released.[70] On April 26, 2018, the first full trailer was released.[71]

Premiere[edit]

On April 27, 2018, the series held its official world premiere during the Series Mania Festival in Lille, France in which the pilot episode was screened.[72] On May 22, 2018, the series held its official US premiere at the Time Warner Center in New York City.[73]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Succession
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
188% (80 reviews)70 (29 reviews)
297% (68 reviews)89 (19 reviews)

Season 1[edit]

The first season was met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds an approval rating of 88% with an average rating of 7.78 out of 10, based on 80 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Peppering its pathos with acid wit, Succession is a divine comedy of absolute power and dysfunction – brought to vivid life by a ferocious ensemble."[74] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 70 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[75]

Season 2[edit]

The second season received critical acclaim. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a 97% rating with an average rating of 8.99 out of 10, based on 68 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Succession returns in darkly funny form, with sharp writing, exceptional performances, and a surprising new level of sympathy for some of television's least likable characters."[76] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 89 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[77]

Ratings[edit]

The premiere episode drew 582,000 live viewers, down from the 1.39 million viewers that watched its lead-in, Westworld.[13] The season 2 finale drew 1.1 million viewers across all viewing platforms.[78]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Season 1
2018 American Film Institute Awards Top 10 TV Programs of the Year Succession Won [79]
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Kieran Culkin Nominated [80]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Succession Nominated [81]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Matthew Macfadyen Nominated
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Adam McKay (for "Celebration") Won [82]
Writers Guild of America Awards Television: Dramatic Series Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Anna Jordan, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Susan Soon He Stanton and Daniel Zelman Nominated [83]
Television: New Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Nominated [84][85]
BAFTA TV Awards Best International Programme Won [86]
Shorty Awards Best TV Series Nominated [87]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated [88]
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards
(Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards)
Outstanding Drama Series Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Mark Mylod, Jane Tranter, Tony Roche, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Jonathan Glatzer, Jon Brown, Dara Schnapper and Jonathan Filley Nominated [89][90]
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Jesse Armstrong (for "Nobody Is Ever Missing") Won
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Adam McKay (for "Celebration") Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Douglas Aibel, Henry Russell Bergstein and Francine Maisler Nominated
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Nicholas Britell Won
Season 2
2020 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Won [91]
Best Actor – Television Series Drama Brian Cox Won
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Kieran Culkin Nominated
Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Outstanding Original Score for a Television or Streaming Production Nicholas Britell Nominated [92]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Succession Won [93]
Best Actor in a Drama Series Jeremy Strong Won
Best Actress in a Drama Series Sarah Snook Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Mark Mylod, Jane Tranter, Tony Roche, Scott Ferguson, Jon Brown, Georgia Pritchett, Will Tracy, Jonathan Glatzer, Dara Schnapper and Gabrielle Mahon Won [94]
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Mark Mylod (for "This Is Not for Tears") Nominated [95]
Casting Society of America Television Pilot & First Season – Drama Francine Maisler, Douglas Aibel and Henry Russell Bergstein Nominated [96]
Writers Guild of America Awards Television: Dramatic Series Jesse Armstrong, Alice Birch, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Cord Jefferson, Mary Laws, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Gary Shteyngart, Susan Soon He Stanton and Will Tracy Won [97]
Television: Episodic Drama Will Tracy (for "Tern Haven") Won
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Won [98]
Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Brian Cox Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film Jeremy Strong Won
Peabody Awards Entertainment Succession Won [99]
BAFTA TV Awards
(BAFTA TV Craft Awards)
Best International Programme Nominated [100]
Best Writer, Drama Jesse Armstrong Won
Television Critics Association Awards Program of the Year Succession Pending [101]
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Pending
Individual Achievement in Drama Jeremy Strong Pending
Primetime Emmy Awards
(Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards)
Outstanding Drama Series Succession Pending [102][103]
Outstanding Lead Actor In a Drama Series Brian Cox Pending
Jeremy Strong (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nicholas Braun (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Kieran Culkin Pending
Matthew Macfadyen Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Sarah Snook Pending
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Jesse Armstrong (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Mark Mylod (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Andrij Parekh (for "Hunting") Pending
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series James Cromwell (for "Dundee") Pending
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Cherry Jones (for "Tern Haven") Pending
Harriet Walter (for "Return") Pending
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Avy Kaufman Pending
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) Nicholas Britell (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series Ken Eluto (for "DC") Pending
Bill Henry and Venya Bruk (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) Stephen H. Carter, Carmen Cardenas, George DeTitta and Ana Buljan (for "This Is Not for Tears") Pending

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Episode 14 was first made available on August 30, 2019 through HBO's digital platform.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]