The upcoming season of “Succession” will be its last, creator Jesse Armstrong told the New Yorker on Thursday.
“There’s a promise in the title of ‘Succession.’ I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind. From Season 2, I’ve been trying to think: Is it the next one, or the one after that, or is it the one after that?” he said of the HBO drama series on the power struggles at a media empire.
The decision was made late last year as they started to plot out the fourth season. “‘Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?,'” he said he asked his fellow writers. “And 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. Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference.”
He also admitted to feeling “deeply conflicted” about ending the hit show, which has won 13 Emmys since it debuted in 2018.
“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. 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.”
However, Armstrong hasn’t ruled out doing some sort of “Succession” spinoff. “I do think that this succession story that we were telling is complete,” he said of the bitter infighting among the Roy family to replace Brian Cox’s fearsome patriarch, Logan Roy.
“But the feeling that there could be something else in an allied world, or allied characters, or some of the same characters, that’s also strong in me,” he said.
“I have caveated the end of the show, when I’ve talked to some of my collaborators, like: Maybe there’s another part of this world we could come back to, if there was an appetite? Maybe there’s something else that could be done, that harnessed what’s been good about the way we’ve worked on this. So that is another true feeling,” Armstrong added.
On Wednesday, HBO boss Casey Bloys nixed potential spinoffs of the award-winning drama, saying it “doesn’t seem like a natural thing to me.” However, as he pointed out, the cabler has found tremendous success with the “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon,” so his attitude is “never say never.”
“It doesn’t seem to me that there’s something in ‘Succession’ where you would go, ‘Let’s follow just this kid’ or whatever. … But if [Jesse] said I want to do this, then I would follow his lead,” added Bloys.
Season 4 of “Succession” premieres March 26 on HBO.