By The Nation
“All through history, moments of succession are points of conflict,” notes creator Jesse Armstrong. “Whether it’s the Roman Empire, Babylonian Empire, succession is tough, and often in political and national history, when a king, queen or leader has to leave the stage, they can find they want to linger in the limelight longer than anyone thought.”
Set in New York, “Succession” explores themes of power, politics, money, and family. Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the tough, powerful, ageing patriarch, is head of Waystar Royco, a family-controlled international media conglomerate. He is married to his third wife, Marcia (Hiam Abbass”), a loving but formidable partner.
Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), Logan’s eldest son from his second marriage, is currently a division president at the firm and the heir apparent. Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin), Kendall’s younger brother, is an outspoken, fun-loving son but no longer works at Waystar. Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook), Logan's only daughter and youngest child, has been pursuing a career in politics. Connor Roy (Alan Ruck), Logan’s eldest son, and only child from his first marriage, has pursued an independent life in New Mexico. In the season premiere, the Roy siblings are reunited with their younger cousin, Greg (Nicholas Braun), who has moved from Canada to New York seeking a foothold in the management of the firm’s theme parks.
On the periphery of the Roy family are Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), Shiv’s ambitious boyfriend and a senior executive at the firm, and Rava Roy (Natalie Gold), Kendall’s wife, with whom he shares two children and an emotional bond, despite their marital separation. Frank (Peter Friedman) is the firm’s COO, an old family friend, and a mentor to Kendall. In an effort to solidify his takeover of Waystar, Kendall is on the brink of buying out a digital media outfit from Lawrence (Rob Yang), its CEO and founder.
“There’s no question that “Succession, at its root, is a family story,” notes director and executive producer Adam McKay. “There’s also a tragic side to it, where you see how massive wealth and power distorts and twists and wounds this family.”
Executive producer Frank Rich adds, “I think it is the specificity of the way the “Succession characters are drawn, with wry humour and heart, and the calibre of this ensemble cast, that make the Roys stand out in the crowded field of family drama.”
Succession is executive produced by Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, Jane Tranter and Mark Mylod.