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, that premiered on June 3, 2018, on HBO. The series centers on the fictional Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of a global media and hospitality empire who are fighting for control of the company amidst uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Peter Friedman, Natalie Gold, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and Rob Yang, with Dagmara Domińczyk, Arian Moayed, and J. Smith-Cameron in recurring roles, before being promoted to the main cast for the second season. In June 2018, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season, which premiered on August 11, 2019.[6] In August 2019, HBO renewed the series for a third season.[7]

The series has gained critical acclaim and, among its accolades, Succession won the British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme and Culkin received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. 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.

Premise[edit]

Succession follows the Roy family, owners of media conglomerate Waystar Royco. The family patriarch, Logan Roy, has experienced a decline in health. His four children – removed oldest son Connor, power-hungry Kendall, irreverant Roman, and politically savvy Siobhan – all with varying degrees of connection to the company, begin to prepare for a future without their father,[8] and each begins vying for prominence within the company.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Hiam Abbass as Marcia "Marcy" 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kieran Culkin as Romulus "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, whom he is often vying against for power and attention from their father.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sarah Snook as Siobhan "Shiv" Roy, the youngest child and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 has autism.
  • 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 brother and Greg's grandfather who resides in Canada.
  • Darius Homayoun as Amir (season 1), Marcy'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.
  • 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 cruiselines.

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[9]
210August 11, 2019 (2019-08-11)October 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)0.597[10]

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[11]
22"Shit Show at the Fuck Factory"Mark MylodTony RocheJune 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)0.491[12]
33"Lifeboats"Mark MylodJonathan GlatzerJune 17, 2018 (2018-06-17)0.605[13]
44"Sad Sack Wasp Trap"Adam ArkinAnna JordanJune 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)0.543[14]
55"I Went to Market"Adam ArkinGeorgia PritchettJuly 1, 2018 (2018-07-01)0.583[15]
66"Which Side Are You On?"Andrij ParekhSusan Soon He StantonJuly 8, 2018 (2018-07-08)0.673[16]
77"Austerlitz"Miguel ArtetaLucy PrebbleJuly 15, 2018 (2018-07-15)0.626[17]
88"Prague"S. J. ClarksonJon BrownJuly 22, 2018 (2018-07-22)0.637[18]
99"Pre-Nuptial"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongJuly 29, 2018 (2018-07-29)0.558[19]
1010"Nobody Is Ever Missing"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongAugust 5, 2018 (2018-08-05)0.730[20]

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[21]
122"Vaulter"Andrij ParekhJon BrownAugust 18, 2019 (2019-08-18)0.603[22]
133"Hunting"Andrij ParekhTony RocheAugust 25, 2019 (2019-08-25)0.607[23]
144"Safe Room"Shari Springer Berman and Robert PulciniGeorgia PritchettSeptember 1, 2019 (2019-09-01)[a]0.577[24]
155"Tern Haven"Mark MylodWill TracySeptember 8, 2019 (2019-09-08)0.507[25]
166"Argestes"Matt ShakmanSusan Soon He StantonSeptember 15, 2019 (2019-09-15)0.610[26]
177"Return"Becky MartinJonathan GlatzerSeptember 22, 2019 (2019-09-22)0.508[27]
188"Dundee"Kevin BrayMary LawsSeptember 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)0.579[28]
199"DC"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongOctober 6, 2019 (2019-10-06)0.705[29]
2010"This Is Not for Tears"Mark MylodJesse ArmstrongOctober 13, 2019 (2019-10-13)0.660[30]

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.[31][32][33] 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.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

On November 17, 2017, it was reported that Nicholas Britell would serve as the series' composer.[40] On April 26, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on June 3, 2018.[41] On June 11, 2018, HBO renewed the series for a second season.[42] On August 20, 2019, HBO renewed the series for a third season.[7]

On May 23, 2019, it was announced that the second season would premiere on August 11, 2019.[6]

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.[43] 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.[44] On January 24, 2018, it was reported that Ashley Zukerman had joined the series in a recurring role.[45] On March 7, 2018, it was reported that Jake Choi had been cast in a recurring role.[46] On May 21, 2019, Holly Hunter joined the cast in a recurring role.[47]

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.[48] During the week of November 20, 2017, production took place in the Financial District of Manhattan.[49] In December 2017, the series was reportedly in production on the sixth episode.[50] From mid-January 2018 to the end of the month, the production moved from New York to New Mexico.[51][52][53][48] Filming reportedly took place around the Santa Fe area of the state.[54] On February 22, 2018, filming took place in New Jersey which required the closing of the Atlantic City-Brigantine tunnel.[55][56][57] On February 25, 2018, filming took place at Eastnor Castle near Ledbury in Herefordshire, England.[58]

Starting from July 17, 2019, the crew filmed in Korčula, Croatia, for the second-season finale, including extensive scenes on a yacht.[59][60]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

Promotional poster

On January 18, 2018, HBO released the first teaser trailer for the series.[61][62][63] On March 27, 2018, a second teaser trailer was released.[64] On April 26, 2018, the first full trailer was released.[65]

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.[66] On May 22, 2018, the series held its official US premiere at the Time Warner Center in New York City.[67]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The first season has been met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds an 87% "Certified Fresh" rating with an average rating of 7.77 out of 10 based on 76 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."[68] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 70 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[69]

The second season has received critical acclaim. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating with an average rating of 8.98 out of 10 based on 55 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."[70] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 88 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."[71]

Ratings[edit]

Media outlets have characterized the show's ratings as "fairly low" and "bordering on miniscule."[72][73] The premiere episode drew 582,000 live viewers, down from the 1.39 million viewers that watched its lead-in, Westworld,[11] The season 2 finale drew 1.1 million viewers across all viewing platforms.[74]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 American Film Institute Awards Top 10 TV Programs of the Year Succession Won [75]
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Kieran Culkin Nominated [76]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Succession Nominated [77]
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 [78]
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,
& Daniel Zelman
Nominated [79]
Television: New Series Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell,
Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer,
Anna Jordan, Lucy Prebble,
Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche,
Susan Soon He Stanton,
& Daniel Zelman
Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Nominated [80][81]
BAFTA TV Awards Best International Programme Won [82]
Shorty Awards Best TV Series Nominated [83]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Succession Nominated [84]
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Succession Nominated [85][86]
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Adam McKay (for "Celebration") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Jesse Armstrong (for "Nobody Is Ever Missing") Won
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Douglas Aibel, Henry Russell Bergstein and Francine Maisler Nominated
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Nicholas Britell Won
2020 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Pending [87]
Best Actor – Television Series Drama Brian Cox Pending
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Kieran Culkin Pending
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Succession Pending [88]
Best Actor in a Drama Series Jeremy Strong Pending
Best Actress in a Drama Series Sarah Snook Pending
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Succession Pending [89]
Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Brian Cox Pending
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film Jeremy Strong 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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