Monday, April 22, 2024

“Succession” Succeeds at Jumping 30% to Season High Ratings on HBO Main Channel, Pushing “Barry” Higher, Too


“Succession” this past Sunday really succeeded.

The water cooler show, in its 6th episode of its final season, jumped 29% from the previous week. The show notched its highest numbers of the season, with 847,000 total viewers on the main HBO channel.

HBO says that in addition to those numbers, the show had 1.9 million fans on HBO Max. The jump pushed “Barry” up by 100,000 viewers, as well by 45.7% in totals and a whopping 166% in the key demo. “Barry” is still pulling just 303,000 viewers, but that’s a surprising increase.

“Succession” on Sunday was brutal, which is nothing new. All the actors are working at the top of everyone’s game. But this episode was poignant because Jeremy Strong’s Kendall is balancing on a dental floss between mad genius and nervous breakdown. His final scene, floating in the ocean, starts out looking dire but ends on muted triumph. Kendall is a little manic depressive, so he’s always scaring the audience. This week, he also scared his siblings.

Next week is episode 7. We still haven’t had Logan Roy’s funeral. There’s speculation now that the funeral will be the final chapter, episode 10. This means that Season 4, even though taking weeks for us to experience, is moving almost day by day. It’s excruciating.

Apart from Kendall, the bizarre marriage of Shiv and Tom continued be fascinatingly cruel. The estranged couple played a game in which they bit each other’s arms– without drawing blood — and then had sex. Shiv still hasn’t told Tom she’s pregnant, and she’s flirting like crazy with Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard).

In the supporting area J. Smith-Cameron’s fight with Roman (Kieran Culkin) was startling. Even more crazy was she was fired again, for the second time this season. Roman has also caved to the pressure to living up to his father’s standards.

Where do we go from here? Up to 1 million linear viewers this weekend? And to a surprise, something out of left field for Waystar?

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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