Many fans of “Succession” were surprised to learn last month that the Emmy-winning HBO drama series will end with its upcoming fourth season, but it turns out even some cast members were somewhat blindsided by the news.
Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv on the series, told the LA Times that while there were murmurs that Season 4 might be the end of the series during production, she wasn’t officially informed that the show was over until the table read for the series finale in January.
“I was very upset. I felt a huge sense of loss, disappointment and sadness,” she said. “It would have been nice to know at the beginning of the season, but I also understand not being told until the end because there was still a potential that maybe this wasn’t going to be the end.”
Snook doesn’t disagree with creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong’s decision to end the series, however. She’s just sad not to be working with her castmates anymore.
“Emotionally, all of us weren’t necessarily ready to be done with the show because we love each other so much,” she added. “But everything has to come to an end, and it’s smart not to let something become a parody of itself.”
Armstrong revealed the news that Season 4 would conclude the story of the Roys in a February interview with the New Yorker, and said he and the writers came to the decision to conclude the series while plotting out the fourth season.
“We played out various scenarios: We could do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons. Or we could go on for ages and turn the show into something rather different, and be a more rangy, freewheeling kind of fun show, where there would be good weeks and bad weeks,” he said. “Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference.”
Armstrong added that HBO would have been keen on continuing the series, but respected his decision.
“It’s been a difficult decision, because the collaborations — with the cast, with my fellow-writers, with Nick Britell and Mark Mylod and the other directors — they’ve just been so good,” he said. “And I feel like I’ve done the best work I can do, working with them. And HBO has been generous and would probably have done more seasons, and they have been nice about saying, it’s your decision. That’s nice, but it’s also a responsibility in the end. It feels quite perverse to stop doing it.”
While Armstrong said this season would “complete” this succession story, he left the door open to revisit some of the characters down the road in a spinoff or different series.
For now, though, the beginning of the end arrives when “Succession” Season 4 debuts on HBO on March 26.