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.