Who’s next in line? Succession may have been inspired by a real-life media empire, but there’s more drama packed into this HBO series than could ever appear on reality TV.
Since it premiered in June 2018, fans have been drawn into the ins and outs of the Roy family as they battle for power at Waystar Royco, a fictional equivalent to Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp. Created by Jesse Armstrong, the series proves that some people will do whatever it takes to gain power — even if it means going against their own family members.
“They behave badly and they’re tough people,” Armstrong told Collider of his main characters in 2018. “They’re very much products of their upbringing and their environment. … I believe that people are products of what they’re brought up amongst. I have that level of compassion for them. I don’t think they’re unredeemable or incapable of putting other people ahead of themselves. They’ve just had a very, very tough schooling in not doing that.”
Renewed for a third season before the coronavirus pandemic put Hollywood on pause, Succession continued to gain critical acclaim. In July 2020, the show was nominated for 18 Emmy awards, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Stars Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Nicholas Braun and Matthew Macfadyen each scored nominations of their own in the acting categories.
“Oh, man, I felt kind of indescribably happy,” Strong told The Playlist of his first-ever Emmy nod the following month. “I would say that this piece of work, this show, and this character is, to me, the most important piece of work I’ve ever gotten to do, so to be recognized for something that matters so much to me by this community in this age of peak television where the bar is so high, it’s a huge honor. And the other actors in this category, many of whose work didn’t get recognized, I’m just floored by the company that I’m in.”
Despite the cutthroat family dynamic they portray on screen, Cox reassured fans that the cast gets along much better behind the scenes.
“We’re a very happy family,” Cox said on the Late Late Show in August 2020. “We really are a community, we gelled from day one. … We became a family very, very quickly. They’re a great bunch.”
In 2022, the show made Emmy history when it broke the record for most acting nominations in a single year, earning a whopping 14 total. The previous record for a drama was held by The West Wing, which scored 12 nods in 2002, while the 1977 miniseries Roots held the overall record with 23 nominations.
In addition to nods for main cast members Snook, Strong, Culkin, Cox, Braun, Macfadyen and J. Smith-Cameron, the show racked up nominations for guest actors Adrien Brody, Sanaa Lathan, James Cromwell, Hope Davis, Harriet Walter, Alexander Skarsgård and Arian Moayed.
“I am a huge fan of Succession and beyond thrilled to have been included in such an extraordinary show,” the Pianist actor said in a July 2022 statement about his nomination. “I’m grateful to share this honor with the brilliant cast and crew of Succession, and the fantastic writers who shaped the character, making him so fun to play.”
The fun won’t last forever. Succession will end in 2023 with the fourth and final season.
Sign up for Us Weekly’s free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Scroll down to learn more about the dysfunctional Roy family tree.