HBO's 'Succession' Will End With Season 4, Creator Says

The Emmy-winning family drama is wrapping up after the upcoming season, creator Jesse Armstrong revealed in a new interview.

Succession is coming to an end.

HBO's Emmy-winning family drama, which follows the Roys as they fight for control over their father's media conglomerate, will conclude after the upcoming 10-episode fourth season, creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong revealed in a new interview with The New Yorker. ET confirmed the news with HBO. 

"There’s a promise in the title of Succession. I’ve never thought this could go on forever," Armstrong said of ending the show now. "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?"

As Armstrong explained, the decision to close the chapter on the Roys didn't come without many conversations and discussions with the show's writers. He first floated the idea in November or December 2021 that season 4 could serve as a natural endpoint for the story. ET has reached out to HBO for comment.

"I sort of said, 'Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?' 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," he elaborated, admitting his preference was for the latter option.

"And that was definitely always my preference. I went into the writing room for season 4 sort of saying, 'I think this is what we're doing, but let's also keep it open," Armstrong said.

He shared in the interview that for the early part of season 4, he stayed away from definitively declaring that "this was the last season" because of previous experiences where they would discover "plot avenues, character dynamics." It caused him to not "definitively close off the possibility of that happening this season -- at least until it got weird to not say 'OK, I think this really is it,'" Armstrong acknowledged.

Asked how he felt about seeing the show end, Armstrong confessed he feels "deeply conflicted" about ending a show that's at its peak.

"I quite enjoy this period when we’re editing -- where the whole season is there -- but we haven’t put it out yet," he reflected. "And I also quite liked the period where me and my close collaborators knew that this was probably it, or this was it, but hadn’t had to face up to it in the world."

"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," Armstrong added. "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."

"So I do feel conflicted about that. And I feel sad, and I have the-circus-has-left-town feeling that everyone gets who works on a production that’s good, and this one particularly so," he continued. "I imagine I’ll be a little bit lonely, and wandering the streets of London in a funk, and wondering, What the f**k did I do? I’ll probably be calling you up in about six months asking if people are ready for a reboot."

Succession explores power and family dynamics through the eyes of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Connor (Alan Ruck). Season 4 kicks off with the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) moving ever closer. The prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is complete. A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed.

There had been growing speculation in recent years that Succession was nearing its end. Culkin addressed theories that season 4 could be the final chapter in the Roy saga, telling ET, "As a fan of the show, I would like to see more. I would like to see two more seasons." Cox chimed in on the matter, leaving the power in Armstrong's hands: "If he decides there's more to be got out of it, then we’ll do a fifth season. I don’t think we'll do much more than that."

Succession has earned 48 Emmy nominations and won 13, including Outstanding Drama Series for the second and third seasons, since it launched in 2018. Season 3, which premiered in October 2021, earned the SAG Award for drama ensemble and swept the WGA, DGA and PGA awards. 

Succession returns for season 4 on Sunday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.