When it comes to dark comedy and must-watch drama, few ongoing shows are on the same level as Succession – Jesse Armstrong’s outstanding series about a fictional media empire.
The series centres on the Roy family, led by Logan (Brian Cox), and the bitter rivalry between his children as they aim to prove their worth, each of them desperate to put themselves in pole position to be named his successor.
With the drama steadily ramping up on an episode-by-episode basis over its first two seasons, the show has become a fan favourite and a critical darling, landing as many as 18 Emmy nominations, including a staggering nine nods for its tremendous cast.
That news was greeted warmly by fans, but slightly less good news concerns the wait for a third run, with the next series likely to be delayed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
HBO announced production had postponed due to the pandemic back in March, and although Radio Times revealed in July that showrunner Armstrong hopes “to start filming in the not-too-distant future”, that date has since been pushed back to autumn at the earliest, according to series star Matthew Macfadyen.
More recently Brian Cox has revealed plans are in place to “hopefully” begin production in November.
Read on for everything you need to know about season three.
When is Succession season 3’s release date?
There is no word on an official launch date for the season as yet, though we do know that it’s on the way – even though filming has been delayed by coronavirus.
Series star Matthew Macfadyen – who was nominated for an Emmy for his supporting turn as Tom – revealed in July 2020 that the start of filming would likely begin in the autumn at the earliest, saying: “We were supposed to start at the end of April. They’re hoping to start in the autumn, I suppose, but I know that a lot of shows are sort of sliding to January. I think it changes week to week — or day to day, really.”
In July, writer Jesse Armstrong told Radio Times that filming may restart in the “not-too-distant future,” saying: “We’ve carried on writing during the lockdown. But it’s still up in the air. As for coronavirus, there are things to think about, in terms of how we deal or don’t deal with it. But I’m not going to get into it in public.”
And in August 2020, Armstrong told Variety that the team was “trying to think about starting shooting in New York before Christmas,” adding: “Who knows if that’ll come about, but that’s the plan at the moment.”
And later the same month Brian Cox told The Hollywood Reporter that he was hopeful production could begin in November, claiming that there would be strict precautions in place given the ongoing pandemic.
He said, “HBO has been fantastic because they are covering every protocol possible, and they really want to be safe because it’s a show they care a lot about.
“Our problem with the show is it’s a verity show because we shoot on the move and chronologically. But we now have to change in a way to be more controlled. We’ll have to use more sets than we did before.”
If filming is able to begin before the end of 2020, we’d speculate that season 3 of Succession might air in late 2021 – but, at least for now, there’s no official release date!
If you want to catch up on previous episodes of Succession, you can buy the DVD on Amazon now.
Who is in Succession’s cast?
Succession would be nothing without its ensemble of players, both major and minor. We fully expect lead stars Brian Cox (Logan), Jeremy Strong (Kendall), Sarah Snook (Shiv), Kieran Culkin (Roman), Alan Ruck (Connor), Matthew MacFadyen (Tom) and Nicholas Braun (Greg) to return, along with supporting actors J Smith Cameron (Gerri) and Justine Lupe (Willa).
The cast have been nominated and won various awards for their portrayals, and in July, season two racked up 18 Emmy nods in total.
British actor Matthew Macfadyen, who plays supporting character Tom Wambsgans, revealed in July 2020 that he had been on his way to the supermarket when he heard that he’d been nominated for an Emmy.
“Unglamorous, but that’s the truth of it,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “And then I got a really nice call from my agent and my agent in the States and they all said congrats. It was lovely.”
However, he also revealed that he had mixed feelings about the virtual awards ceremony in September.
“I know this sounds ungrateful but I hope I never do another Zoom again,” he said. “Having to rearrange the curtains behind your head… even an Emmy ceremony on Zoom is just sort of weird to me. But I’d probably be in the same ol’ place. I think I’d dress up, you know. I think I’d honour the occasion and make an effort.”
Macfadyen is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series alongside Succession co-stars Nicholas Braun and Kieran Culkin.
Other members of the cast to be honoured in the Emmy nominations include Cox and Strong in the Best Actor category, Snook for Best Actor and James Cromwell, Cherry Jones and Harriet Walter for their guest appearances.
What will happen in Succession season 3?
Of course, we aren’t aware of any precise details yet but we can begin to predict what kind of events might feature. For example, it’s more than likely that we’ll see some a confrontation between Logan and Roy early on after the events of the season two finale, and indeed Brian Cox recently told Deadline that there were “a lot of fireworks to come” between the pair.
As for Roman – the character played by Kieran Culkin – there’s been some rumours that he could be the main focus of season three, after season one primarily centred on Kendall and season two largely revolved around Shiv, with Culkin recently telling Vulture, “Maybe next year is Roman’s turn.”
It’s also likely that we’ll see further exploration of Tom and Shiv’s relationship which, it’s fair to say, was experiencing some difficulties during the second season, while we could even see the COVID-19 pandemic written into the series, something Cox recently alluded to in an interview with The Scotsman.
Meanwhile, we could see a more international flavour to the drama, with one of the series’ writers, Lucy Prebble, hinting the show is planning to increase its scope during its third season. She told Deadline, “There are … a lot of talks about going more international than we’ve gone before, which is to do with the relationship between the media industry and international countries.”
She added: “The way international countries input, control, and fund the media in ways that aren’t talked about as clearly as they should be… There are big conversations about how countries and media intersect at the moment.”
Furthermore in August 2020, Sarah Snook revealed what impact the pandemic would have on the show’s future storylines, claiming that although the virus would have a bearing on the series in a practical way it was unlikely that Jesse Armstrong would change the stories based on COVID
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “Just for safety reasons, we’re going to have to look at how many extras are in a scene, for instance.
“But Jesse is a person who doesn’t really want to compromise what stories they want to tell as writers just for the pandemic.
“They’re obviously talented writers, so there will be a very delicate hand on how much is included, but we’re not trying to make a show about a wealthy family during a pandemic.”
One person who knows exactly what will happen in the season is Brian Cox – who revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he was the only member of the cast who is currently aware of the events set to occur in the next run.
He said, “I nearly fell off my chair because he [Jesse Armstrong] never tells you about the next series. We never knew from episode to episode what was going to happen.
“But then he told me. And it’s jolly thrilling. That’s all I can say.”
And Lucy Prebble, who works as a writer on the show, cryptically revealed a little more about the upcoming season in a recent interview with GQ, also confirming that the show’s plot would not be altered to reflect the pandemic.
“Obviously, there are implications with the pandemic, although there were no major changes happening to the script,” she said. “HBO are really good at that sort of stuff; they’re aggressively protective of their creations. They want to make it work creatively and what they’re going to do is try to provide a situation that will allow that, when they can.”
She added, “I can’t say much about it, but the only thing I can say is that it was fascinating to see James Murdoch take the action that he did in publicising that letter about [him] leaving [News Corp]. And considering our season two and our season three, I can say it is an amazing and interesting event.”
We’re certainly intrigued!
Is there a trailer for Succession season 3?
Not yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
Keep checking this page for updates on Succession season three, including the trailer when it eventually drops.
Succession airs on HBO in the USA and Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK and you can buy the DVD at Amazon. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.