Wedding bells are ringing in the Roy family ahead of tonight's episode, but if there's anything we've learned about a Succession ceremony, it's that they're never drama-free.
Season 4's third episode airs tonight (or rather very early tomorrow morning) on Sky Atlantic with the Roy children, AKA "the rats", descending on Connor and Willa's doomed nuptials to take another pop at their ruthless papa – and just to top it all off, there'll all be stuck on a boat together.
Succession's return is bitter-sweet considering that this is the fourth and final season of the Emmy-winning drama, with creator Jesse Armstrong telling The New Yorker in February that he wanted to "go out sort of strong".
As for the ending, the Succession cast and creatives have told us to embrace ourselves, with Armstrong teasing that it'll be "hopefully a bit surprising", while Matthew Macfadyen – who plays Tom Wambsgans – said that "it works".
For now, it's time to grab our ludicrously capacious bags and stuff them full of as much Succession content as we can as the Roy family chess game reaches its big conclusion.
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Succession season 4 release date and time
The next episode of Succession – season 4 episode 3: Connor's Wedding – will air on Monday 10th April at 2am on Sky Atlantic. You'll also be able to tune in at 9pm that same day to catch it again.
Succession season 4 premiered in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Monday 27th March 2023 at 2am BST.
This was a simultaneous release with the HBO premiere on Sunday 26th March 2023.
The fourth season began filming in June 2022 as the show finally went back into production.
The third season began filming in December 2020 and then took 10 months before premiering in October 2021 - and that was for a shorter season of eight episodes.
Brian Cox did announce back in October 2021 though that filming was expected to begin in June 2022, telling British GQ: "I think the writers are getting back in January. I was surprised because I thought they’d be getting back in November.
"But I do think they need a break. I mean, I think that they do need space, because they’ve been working really hard on this [season]."
Will Succession season 4 be the last season?
Unfortunately, yes. Creator Jesse Armstrong broke the news in an interview with The New Yorker in February 2023, saying: "There’s a promise in the title of Succession. I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind.
"From season 2, I’ve been trying to think: is it the next one, or the one after that, or is it the one after that?
"I got together with a few of my fellow writers before we started the writing of season 4, in about November, December 2021, and I sort of said, ‘Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?’
"And we played out various scenarios: We could do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons. Or we could go on for ages and turn the show into something rather different, and be a more rangy, freewheeling kind of fun show, where there would be good weeks and bad weeks.
"Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference."
Armstrong did tease that spin-offs could be on the cards - but HBO chief Casey Bloys wasn't so sure.
Bloys said: "I don’t think so. I always say 'never say never.' When we started talking about doing a [Game of] Thrones prequel that was something that HBO had historically never done. I had some people internally saying, ‘This is crazy. What are you doing?’
"That said, I think that there’s something about the universe that George [RR Martin] created that lent itself to [spin-offs]. There’s a huge history, a lot of different families, a lot of different wars and battles.
"It doesn’t seem to me that there’s something in Succession where you would go, 'Let’s follow just this kid' or whatever. It doesn’t seem like a natural thing to me. But if [creator Jesse Armstrong] said, 'I want to do this,' then I would follow Jesse’s lead."
"No one’s had their contracts renewed," he said. "Who knows how long it will go on? We don’t want it to overstay its welcome, like Billions; that’s past its sell-by date. That will not happen with our show."
Who stars in Succession season 4?
The following Succession cast members return for the fourth and final season:
- Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy
- Nicholas Braun as Gregory 'Greg' Hirsch
- Brian Cox as Logan Roy
- Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy
- Peter Friedman as Frank Vernon
- Matthew Macfadyen as Thomas 'Tom' Wambsgans
- Alan Ruck as Connor Roy
- Sarah Snook as Siobhan 'Shiv' Roy
- Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy
- Dagmara Domińczyk as Karolina Novotney
- Arian Moayed as Stewy Hosseini
- J Smith-Cameron as Gerri Kellman
- Justine Lupe as Willa Ferreyra
- David Rasche as Karl Muller
- Fisher Stevens as Hugo Baker
- Alexander Skarsgård as Lukas Matsson
- Scott Nicholson as Colin Stiles
- Zoë Winters as Kerry Castellabate
- Annabelle Dexter-Jones as Naomi Pierce
- Juliana Canfield as Jess Hordan
- Jeannie Berlin as Cyd Peach
- Cherry Jones as Nan Pierce
- Hope Davis as Sandi Furness
- Justin Kirk as Jeryd Mencken
- Stephen Root as Ron Petkus
- Harriet Walter as Lady Caroline Collingwood
- James Cromwell as Ewan Roy
- Natalie Gold as Rava Roy
- Caitlin Fitzgerald as Tabitha Hayes
- Ashley Zukerman as Nate Sofrelli
- Larry Pine as Sandy Furness
- Mark-Linn Baker as Maxim Pierce
- Pip Torrens as Peter Munion
- Annabeth Gish as TBC
- Adam Godley as TBC
- Eili Harboe as TBC
- Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as TBC
Succession wouldn't be the juggernaut of a drama it is without the main Roy family members, so season 4 stars Jeremy Strong (Kendall), Brian Cox (Logan), Kieran Culkin (Roman), Sarah Snook (Shiv), Nicholas Braun (Greg), Alan Ruck (Connor Roy) and Matthew Macfadyen (Tom Wambsgans).
We also have the returns of Peter Friedman (Frank Vernon), Arian Moayed (Stewy Hosseini), J Smith-Cameron (Gerri Kellman), Justine Lupe (Willa Ferreyra), David Rasche (Karl Muller), Hiam Abbass (Marcia Roy) and Fisher Stevens (Hugo Baker).
Meanwhile, the season 3 finale also left the character of Lukas Matsson, played by Alexander Skarsgard, in a powerful position, so it's likely we'll be seeing a lot more of him this season.
Speaking about the ending of the series, Skarsgard said: "This season I had – without giving anything away – I worked with some other people as well, which was a real treat. Not to say last season wasn't phenomenal with Brian [Cox] and Jeremy [Strong] and Kieran [Culkin]. Incredible. Incredible."
There has been a fair share of chatter about the cast more recently though, with rumours flying around about the state of Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong's relationship. It comes after previous reports that Cox had made disapproving comments about his co-star's method acting approaches.
But speaking at a screening of the Succession season 4 premiere in London on Friday (24th March 2023), Cox said: "They keep trying to get a fight going between me and Jeremy Strong and it won’t work, because we both love one another.
"Even though we have differences, we have such respect as well."
Additionally, a number of new stars will be joining for the new episodes, though their characters remain under wraps.
Newcomers include actors Annabeth Gish, Adam Godley, Eili Harboe, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.
Succession season 4 trailer
A full trailer has now been released for the fourth season of Succession.
The footage teases how the Roy siblings Kendall, Roman and Shiv go head-to-head with their father Logan and a number of people are caught in the crossfire - including Shiv's treacherous husband Tom Wambsgans.
Catch the UK trailer for the series' return below.
What is Succession season 4 about?
Well, the 10 episodes of the acclaimed drama will be on their way and tackling the takeover of Waystar Royco by Lukas Matsson.
"In the 10-episode season 4, the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson moves ever closer," begins the official synopsis from HBO.
"The prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is completed."
It concludes: "A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed."
We also have the small matter of Tom's betrayal of Shiv to explore, along with Kendall's continuing mental deterioration, plus Roman's psychosexual games with Gerri.
Matthew Macfadyen also gave a tease about how Tom’s betrayal of his wife will play into season 4, revealing: "It sets up the story going forward. We pick up a little bit of time after the dust has sort of settled. Not very much though.
"He thinks he is just looking out for himself [but] you could argue he has suffered from the hands of his brothers-in-law and his wife. I’m scared of giving away spoilers. It’s nicely teed up.”
Let's also hope we get more dance sequences from Shiv Roy.
Speaking about her dancing in the third season, Snook said to TV Line: "I think I heard ‘cut,’ and someone said, ‘You’ve just become a GIF.'”
She added: "At that point, I hadn’t been out to a bar or a club for over a year, so being able to dance anywhere at that point through the pandemic was a gift. So a lot of that is me letting my frustrations out, and also a lot of that is Shiv venting her frustrations at her brothers. But it was a lot of fun."
Succession returned on Monday 27th March at 9pm on Sky Atlantic and NOW with previous seasons available to watch on Sky and stream on NOW – sign up for Sky TV here. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.