By taking the Murdoch family as its loose inspiration, Succession gave itself a difficult task. In post-Trump America, where politics is once again front and center (and the media at the center of that), the show was aiming squarely the zeitgeist; if it missed even by an inch, it would come off as a total whiff.
Two seasons in, and the show has proved itself more than capable of rising to the occasion. Succession's motley, Machiavellian crew, a mixture of potential Roy heirs and their hangers-on, has become one of television's best-ever ensemble casts. The critics agree: Succession is good.
HBO apparently thinks so, too. The premium cable channel greenlit a third season after just two episodes of its second had aired, and Succession fans couldn't be happier. Here's what we know about the show's third season.
Production has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
When HBO announced that the show would be delayed in mid-March, it was in pre-production. "We are looking forward to resuming preproduction when it is safe and healthy for everyone working on our shows to do so," the channel said in a statement, per Deadline. "Where possible, our writers are continuing to write remotely."
In August, showrunner Jesse Armstrong told Variety that there a tentative plans to begin shooting before Christmas—but it's far from a sure bet. While they are "trying to think about starting shooting in New York before Christmas," the plans are still "just conversations." He added, "Who knows if that’ll come about, but that’s the plan at the moment."
It's unclear if the pandemic will be featured on the show.
The series's fans are used to seeing some ripped-from-the-headlines events addressed in the show, but the jury's still out on whether the ongoing pandemic will make an appearance. Sarah Snook (Succession's Shiv) told Variety that if Armstrong does write the coronavirus crisis into the show's upcoming season, he "wants to be delicate about it and just classy."
She added, "I think it’s a thing that everybody’s aware of, and audiences are really intuitive these days. Even just seeing a mask in the background of something or hand sanitizer, those things that have become part of our daily lives, those things maybe, but nothing that is so overt that is going to really tackle it head on, because that’s not the show. We want to see the Roys doing the thing that they’ve been doing that we love, not pivoting towards a pandemic story."
The cast and creators have dropped some hints about what's to come.
Succession writer Lucy Prebble told Deadline in November that it was "early days in terms of storylining," but they were already working on season three. "There are also a lot of talks about going more international than we’ve gone before, which is to do with the relationship between the media industry and international countries," Prebble added. "The way international countries input, control and fund the media in ways that aren’t talked about as clearly as they should be."
Previously, Brian Cox, the actor behind Succession's media magnate-slash-terrible father Logan Roy, confirmed fans' suspicions about the season two finale to Deadline. He confirmed that Logan smirked while watching Kendall turn on him, because Logan knows "the boy has finally grown up. He’s finally taking some kind of positive action."
Cox explained, "Logan’s always known that Kendall was a treacherous shit. In a way, he isn’t judging him. There’s some validation of what’s happened. Logan accepts that."
Where will the father and son go from here? Cox promised that there are "a lot of fireworks to come" between Logan and Kendall—and perhaps another of Logan's children, too. "I’m fascinated to see how young Roman comes into play," Cox said. "He showed his mettle at the end of season tw0. I think he’s the hidden gun under the table."
HBO announced the series was renewed in August 2019.
"We are elated that Succession and its exploration of wealth, power and family has resonated so powerfully with audiences," said HBO EVP Francesca Orsi, per the Hollywood Reporter.
"We cannot wait to see how the complex characters that Jesse Armstrong has created continue to navigate this captivating, ruthless world of the uber-rich," Orsi added. "In today's world where the intersection of politics and media is increasingly prevalent, Succession presents an especially piercing look behind the curtain of this elite, influential, and cutthroat community."
The release date isn't set in stone.
Pre-postponement, the Hollywood Reporter claimed that the season is expected to air "sometime in 2020." Now, however, that's looking highly unlikely.
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