Succession shows when to call the hour on excellent television

  • Estate, Barry and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are just a few of the shows ending in 2023.
  • Executives and creatives often disagree about When a TV show should end.
  • Succession Jeremy Strong said Newsweek it’s “ready to be done” with Kendall Roy.

At the height of his powers, Succession is coming to an end this week, but is it the right time to bow out?

When a TV show has reached mainstream appeal levels and is a consistent creator of cooler moments, there is always the fear that TV studios will demand more seasons until the quality drops or the people stop watching.

The longer a show runs, more often than not, the more critics’ ratings decline, as seen in Game Of Thrones, two and a half men And The simpsons. Then there are the TV shows that seemed to end on their own terms, leaving audiences wanting more. Think, Seinfeld, Office (UNITED KINGDOM), breaking Bad And Friends.

Lucky for Successionthere was a clear path as to when the show would end, as early as October 2021, when Georgia Pritchett, writer and executive producer of the HBO show, said Newsweek about the “end in sight”.

From left, actors Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin seen as the Roys in ‘Succession’.

When is it a good time to call the hour for a TV show?

The length of some classic TV shows has been studied many times by social media users. Reddit in particular has a number of threads comparing and contrasting the length of a show, and the overall effect it has on quality over time.

Redditor u/gammafission00 used IMDb user ratings to measure a show’s quality over time, season by season. A common trend is that the quality usually goes down the longer a show lasts.

“TV shows have a lifespan, and like all things, it’s often hard to predict,” said Stefano Da Fre, director, producer and president of Rosso Films International. Newsweek.

“The phrase ‘all good things must come to an end’ is a hard lesson to learn for viewers who have become emotionally engaged in storylines that may have already exceeded their expectations, hoping that television writers will continue to somehow extend their favorite shows forever.”

Sitcom creator Bill Lawrence saw both sides of the double-edged sword of audience expectations. On the one hand, if a show looks set to end too soon, as is currently the case with Ted Lasso and Season 3 will leave fans wanting more. But if a show overstays its reception, ratings and viewing figures will plummet, as was the case with the ill-fated Scrubs restart in 2009.

When it comes to deciding whether to end a show, there is a balance to be struck between quality and profitability.

Atlanta, Succession, Barry, Ted Lasso
(Clockwise from top left) Donald Glover in Atlanta, Brian Cox in Succession, Bill Hader in Barry and Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso. Atlanta recently ended after season 4, Succession and Barry will end after season 4 in May, while Ted Lasso’s future is unclear as fans anticipate the show ending after season 3 .
FX / HBO / Apple TV+

When executives end a show

While creatives must wrestle with the quest for a perfect ending, TV executives care less about a show’s legacy, according to Da Fre.

“The truth is that, financially, for TV executives, the risk is worth it, because the audience is already built up for another season, and therefore more economically stable than testing a new show. These are risks computed ones that have more stability than the inverse problem of “ending a show before its climax.”

While a TV studio can apparently choose to extend a show past its sell-by date, it can also cancel it prematurely. Fan campaigns have started in the past after favorites such as Community, Sense8, Firefly, freaks and geeksAnd Friday night lights were terminated prematurely.

Da Fre pointed out that David Fincher spirit hunter is a recent example where Netflix cut a show in its heyday, but even the Oscar-winning director understood the decision from an economic perspective.

Succession Season 4 Episode 9 Scene
(Left to right) Actors Justine Lupe, Alan Ruck, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook in a scene from “Succession” Season 4 Episode 9. The Roy children mourn the loss of their father in the penultimate episode of series.
Macall Polay/HBO

“I’m very proud of the first two seasons. But it’s a very expensive series and, in the eyes of Netflix, we didn’t attract enough viewership to justify such an investment,” Fincher told the French magazine. The Sunday Journal in February. “I don’t blame them, they took risks to get the show off the ground,” he added.

“It’s a cold, hard example of how the current TV financial model disrupts the relationship between ‘the audience’ and ‘its network’ and how ending a show prematurely leaves everyone feeling cheated.” , said Da Fre.

When creatives end a show

There are fewer examples of a show managing to end on the creator’s terms, giving him the opportunity to fully realize his story.

by Vince Gilligan breaking Badby Matthew Weiner Mad Men and David Chase The Sopranos are a few examples of American TV shows with memorable finales that finished on top. Ironically, UK TV shows are often noted to end prematurely, leaving audiences wanting more.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s are examples of hard-hitting shows from across the pond with fewer episodes but lasting impact. Officeby John Cleese Fawlty Towersand James Corden and Ruth Jones Gavin and Stacey.

Office could be a good sign of the British and American approach to programming. While the UK version only had 14 episodes (two seasons and a Christmas special), the US version had 201 episodes across nine seasons. The American edition surpassed its British origins in terms of accolades and ratings, but there was a sharp decline in reviews and ratings after season 7 when Steve Carell’s Michael Scott left the show.

Emmy Succession Cast
(L-R) Brian Cox, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, Matthew Macfadyen, J. Smith-Cameron and Nicholas Braun pose after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for ‘Succession’ during the 74th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater of Los Angeles, Calif. on September 12, 2022.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Entertainment industry and reputation management expert Ryan McCormick believes there’s a key moment when creatives know when to end their shows.

“When all of the main characters have reached logical and desired destinations (mentally and/or physically) that are far from where they started. Once those arcs are over, the show is over,” Goldman founder McCormick PR said. Newsweek. “Cobra Kai is probably the best example of how to create a brilliant and engaging program without overstaying its welcome.” The Karate Kid The spin-off was a surprise hit on Netflix and the upcoming sixth season will be its last.

“If a show goes on too long, it loses relevance and becomes boring. People don’t care about the characters anymore and the legacy of the show is tarnished.” McCormick continued, “A common trend seems that programs are ‘must see TV’ the first three seasons, and then they rest on their laurels until fan interest eventually bleeds.”

For what Succession ends now

While being an American show, primarily based in New York, Succession actually has some surprising British roots, which may explain why it follows the examples of its predecessors.

Jesse Armstrong, the creator of Successionalso did the British comedies peep show And Fresh meatand he also wrote about The thickness of it and the American crossover In the loop. British producers of Succession include the aforementioned Pritchetts, Tony Roche, Lucy Prebble and Jane Trantor.

In October 2021, Pritchett said Newsweek the team had a “good end in sight”.

As for the cast, they may be happy the show is coming to an end, as Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy, said. Newsweek.

“I feel ready to be done, I think the same way Jesse does. I feel like that particular character’s arc had run its course, and I didn’t want to try and extend that to do more. seasons,” he said. said Newsweek in March, before the first episode of season 4.

“It’s the right time. I feel relieved to be free of it, and I’m also going to miss it so much. I mean, it’s hard for me to understand how big this journey has been.”

American TV shows seem to have adapted to a “less is more” model in recent years. While there is Grey’s Anatomy And NCIS that have been going on for decades, there is a new wave that ends early.

Succession will end at four seasons, that of Bill Hader barry with four, Donald Glover Atlanta ended last year after four hours, Ted Lasso could finish after three this year, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also ends with season 5.

Newsweek asked a number of writers to contribute to this article, but they were unavailable due to the ongoing WGA strike in the entertainment industry.

The season finale of Succession, “With Open Eyes,” premieres on HBO on Sunday, May 28, 2023.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button