Saturday, May 25, 2024

Brilliant, Beloved “Succession” Still a Niche Show: Down 21% in Second Week Final Season


Watching “Succession” is a treat for its fans, including this writer, who love the language and mind-gamesmanship.

But “Succession” remains a niche hit, a guilty pleasure for a select few. It’s far from a mainstream hit.

To wit: Sunday night’s episode, the second of the final season, was down 21% in total viewers from the previous week. Total came to just 481,000 on the main HBO channel. That’s down from 598,000 the week before.

Where did 100,000 viewers go? I don’t know, but they missed some amazing writing, as well as all other disciplines. Sunday’s outing was exceptional in every way. Did “Succession” viewers suddenly decamp for “American Idol”? Unlikely. Other shows seem like chalk screeching on a blackboard compared to the nuances of Roman Roy.

HBO will offer numbers from HBO Max and “other platforms” in the millions, and I hope they’re right. But I think the main channel tells the real story. For god’s sake, people, you can jump in any time. Some people say to me they missed two seasons and they’re afraid to tune in now. Nonsense. But maybe HBO could offer an online summary special, a “Succession for Dummies” before the series finale.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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