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Is HBO’S ‘Succession’ based on a true story and real people?

‘Succession’ season 4 recently premiered on March 26

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 29: British actor Brian Cox attends the HBO Max premiere of "Succession" at Academia de Cine  on March 29, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Borja B. Hojas/WireImage)
Borja B. HojasGetty

Created by Jesse Armstrong, ‘Succession’ is a satirical dramedy that follows the fictional Roy family, specifically, who will inherit patriarch Logan Roy’s entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo.

With the heightened drama of the Roy family dynamic, many fans wonder if ‘Succession’ is based on a true story. The most common comparisons are the Murdochs, the Trumps, the Carnegies, and the Redstones.

In one interview, Armstrong revealed a few of his inspirations for the fictional Roy family.

“We thought of famous media families like the Hearsts, to modern-day Redstone, John Malone, Robert Fitz of Comcast, Murdoch, and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who founded Breitbart,” the ‘Succession’ creator revealed to HBO in this behind-the-scenes tell-all.

“Lots of real-life moguls. We collected a myriad of these kinds of relationships that we knew about.”

‘Succession’ family draws comparisons to the Murdochs

Armstrong previously wrote a screenplay about the Murdoch family that never was adopted for the screen, which makes many wonder if the Roys are based on the Murdochs.

The Murdochs’ News Corp media empire bears many similarities to the fictional Waystar RoyCo. The main similarity rests in the character of Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, and his personality mirroring that of Rupert Murdoch.

The two patriarchs both have children from multiple marriages, and each enjoy pitting their children against one another, vying for control of the family media behemoth.

‘Succession’ characters Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) all compete for control of their father’s entertainment conglomerate. They bear close resemblance to the personalities and roles of Rupert Murdoch’s children Lachlan, James, and Elisabeth.

The Roy family also has ties to the Republican Party and hosts the right-wing news outlet ATN, similar to the Murdochs with Fox News.

‘Succession’ fans are loving season 4

With the latest season of ‘Succession’ now streaming on HBO, many fans are anticipating how the show will end. The fourth season is expected to be the show’s last.


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