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 has continued to gain critical acclaim. In July, 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 in August. “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. “We really are a community, we gelled from day one. … We became a family very, very quickly. They’re a great bunch.”
Scroll down to learn more about the dysfunctional Roy family tree.