Jesse Armstrong Hoped He’d ‘Get Argued Out’ of Ending ‘Succession’ by His Writing Staff

When Jesse Armstrong announced that “Succession” would be ending with Season 4, it was a shock to TV fans around the world — and his own cast and crew. While Armstrong and his creative team had been deliberately ambiguous about plans for the show’s conclusion, it’s always hard to believe anyone would willingly give up making the biggest show on television until it actually happens.

But that’s exactly what Armstrong did, and the final season of his blockbuster corporate satire premieres on HBO tonight. It appears that the show is ending on a high note, as reviews for the final season have been overwhelmingly positive. But ending the series after four carefully crafted seasons was not always the plan.

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In a recent interview with Variety, Armstrong revealed that he considered changing his mind up until the very last minute.

“The word that comes to mind for me is ‘natural.’ I hope people, when they see this season, will feel that it has a natural shape to it,” Armstrong said when asked about the show’s ending. “That’s how I pitched it to my writers’ room, kind of hoping I’d get argued out of it so we’d see a way to do more seasons, because I love working with these people. I think there’s a feeling of completeness and rightness to the shape of the show.”

If anyone had successfully talked Armstrong into telling more stories about the Roy family, he would have had a welcome home at HBO. The network’s chairman and CEO Casey Bloys recently revealed that he was hoping that the show’s acclaimed run would last a bit longer.

“I would have taken more, but generally speaking, that is the kind of thing you want to leave to a creator,” Bloys said during a recent panel. “When a show is doing well, in this case, Jesse felt it was the right ending. He knew there is an open door, and if he felt it, he could have done more. But that’s an ideal situation that he’s choosing to end on his terms when he wants, telling the story he wants… But if he said, ‘I’ve got two more seasons,’ I would have said, ‘OK, good.’”

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