Succession fans have long been suspected that the Roy family in the HBO drama is loosely based on the Murdoch family led by News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch. But with the Succession series finale behind us — and the news today that Rupert Murdoch will hand control to his son, Lachlan Murdoch — it’s stunning just how many parallels there are between the Roys and the real-life media moguls who own Fox News.
Succession creator Jesse Armstrong has said that he didn’t base the show solely on the Murdochs, insisting that they are but one of several media families he researched while writing.
“I wrote the pilot solo, so there was a good deal of my own research and life experience in there,” Armstrong told HBO. “Then there’s the writing room, which everyone informs with their stories and backgrounds. We thought of famous media families like the Hearsts, to modern-day Redstone, John Malone, Robert Fitz of Comcast, Murdoch, and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who founded Breitbart.
The Succession creator added: “Lots of real-life moguls. We collected a myriad of these kinds of relationships that we knew about. And then like all creative people, you raid a surprising range of relationships that you’ve known from your own life. So, lots and lots of places.”
But still, the similarities persist. As you click through the examples below, please be warned that they contain many Succession spoilers.