The series finale of “Succession” drew 2.9 million viewers on Sunday night, a viewership high for the decorated HBO drama, the network said on Tuesday.
That audience was a considerable improvement from the Season 3 finale, which had 1.7 million viewers on the night it premiered, in December 2021. For the fourth and final season, HBO said that “Succession” was averaging 8.7 million viewers per episode, including delayed viewing, also a new high for the show.
The ratings put an exclamation point on an improbable 39-episode run for “Succession,” which debuted in 2018 to modest expectations and turned into a critics’ favorite and an awards show beast. In addition to multiple Golden Globes wins, “Succession” has won 13 Emmys, including best drama (2020 and 2022), acting honors (Jeremy Strong, Matthew Macfadyen) and best writing (three times for the show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong).
Even with those highs, “Succession” remains somewhat of a niche series, particularly compared with some of HBO’s other recent hits. The second season of “The White Lotus,” which concluded in December, averaged 15.5 million viewers per episode, nearly double the viewers for the final season of “Succession.” The second season of “Euphoria,” which premiered in early 2022, averaged 19.5 million viewers. And mega-hits like “House of the Dragon” and “The Last of Us” averaged roughly 30 million viewers per episode, according to the network.
But “Succession” is already the early favorite to take best drama honors at this year’s Emmy Awards for a third time. Shows eligible for this year’s Emmys had to premiere between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023. Voting for the Emmy nominations begins on June 15, and the nominees will be announced in July.
The viewership figures are compiled by HBO and tallied up from a combination of views from Max, HBO’s streaming service, and of ratings from the live airing and repeat telecasts on traditional cable television. Many entertainment companies, like Netflix, release internal numbers to tout the popularity of their biggest series, though they are difficult to verify. During the live 9 p.m. broadcast of “Succession” on the HBO cable network, for instance, 789,000 viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen.
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