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No, HBO’s ‘Succession’ Is NOT About the Murdoch Family

TCA 2018: Even though creator Jesse Armstrong is the same guy behind that famous Black List screenplay about Fox royalty

Brian Cox’s Logan Roy might resemble Rupert Murdoch, but “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong swears his HBO characters are NOT based on the 21st Century Fox/News Corp. first family. This, despite the fact that Armstrong is the guy who wrote the famously un-produced “Murdoch” screenplay, which has appeared on Hollywood’s Black List.

When asked by a reporter how much his script about the real media moguls leaked into this new TV series, Armstrong said it only existed “deeply in the background.”

“This is a fictional family,” he emphasized.

“We wanted to draw on all the good, rich stories there are about succession and about the high politics,” Armstrong continued, expressing a desire not to limit “Succession” to an interpretation of one famous, powerful real-life media family.

That didn’t stop the words “Murdochs” and “Sumner Redstone” from coming up in several more questions and answers during the Television Critics Association press tour. But the other producers and cast — which includes director Adam McKay and stars Hiam Abbass, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck — were quite careful to not touch that one beyond a mere mention or acknowledgment of the similarities.

“Succession” debuts in June on HBO.

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