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Inside Succession’s Real-Life Inspirations

As the hit HBO show enters its endgame, from Ted Kennedy to the Murdochs, we take a look at the stranger-than-fiction inspirations behind the show

“A lot of research went into Succession,” series creator Jesse Armstrong explained in an interview with the show’s parent network, HBO. “I wrote the pilot solo, so there was a good deal of my own research and life experience in there. Then there’s the writing room, which everyone informs with their stories and backgrounds.”

Armstrong goes on to say the writer’s room “thought of famous media families” including “the Hearsts, to modern-day Redstone, John Malone, Robert Fitz of Comcast, Murdoch, and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who founded Breitbart. Lots of real-life moguls. We collected a myriad of these kinds of relationships that we knew about. And then like all creative people, you raid a surprising range of relationships that you’ve known from your own life. So, lots and lots of places.”

All of which sounds rather… vague and safe – the least likely words to describe a family ruthlessly vying for control of one of the biggest media and entertainment company in the world.

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