With Succession having come to an end after its fourth and final season, fans are clamoring to find something else to fill the corporate-sized hole in their TV schedules. The Roy family and their never-ending quest for money, power, greed, and recognition kept fans glued to their screens; and the finale did not disappoint.
Thankfully, there are other similar shows that can help fill the void. Each has its own spin, but the central themes are the same: a family or group of people looking to leave their mark in the corporate world, and willing to do anything to protect their businesses, reputation, and wealth.
It’s a long-held belief that the Roy family is based on the Murdochs, with Logan Roy on Rupert Murdoch. Though showrunner Jesse Armstrong has said that the characters and events have been inspired by a mix of media families, the Murdochs included, fans can’t help but draw comparisons to the Murdochs, in particular. That’s what makes The Murdochs: Empire of Influence such a good watch for fans of the show.
The docuseries chronicles Murdoch’s rise from working at an Australian newspaper to becoming one of the most, if not the most, influential forces in media. From broken promises to a reluctance to step down, and a difficult decision about which child of his three to hand the company over to, it’s easy to see the parallels. Interestingly, Murdoch’s ex-wife Jerry Hall was reportedly banned from giving Succession writers storyline ideas as part of her divorce settlement, further suggesting that even Murdoch himself sees the similarities.
Stream The Murdochs: Empire of Influence on CNN.com.
While it only lasted a single season, Promised Land was effectively Succession based in California and centered around the world of wine. The Latino family patriarch is Joe (John Ortiz), who has been running a successful vineyard in Sonoma County. But he realizes it’s time to hand over the reins to one of his children.
There are more dramatic, non-familial subplots going on, including conflicts regarding undocumented workers at the vineyard and the previous owner blaming Joe for the death of her father. But by and large, the primary story is similar and the show is just different enough to be still surprising and engaging.
Rent or Buy Promised Land on Amazon Prime Video.
At first thought, Mad Men doesn’t appear to be anything like Succession. But dig deeper, and there are worthy reasons that fans of one would love the other. Both shows are set in New York and within the bustling world of the media landscape. The only difference is that Mad Men is set in the ‘50s and ‘60s when printed magazines were the primary marketing and media vehicle and TV was a relatively new technology.
There’s a level of competition among the people at the advertising firm like there is at Waystar Royco. Many are lobbying to get bigger positions through Mad Men’s seven seasons, like Peggy (Shining Girls‘ Elisabeth Moss) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser). Of course, another big storyline is Don’s (Confess, Fletch‘s Jon Hamm) drive to have more influence in and ownership of the company. Fans can imagine a young Logan Roy having met with Sterling Cooper (eventually Sterling Cooper Draper Price) back in the early days of building his brand.
Stream Mad Men on AMC+.
In Empire, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is a hip-hop mogul and CEO of a massive entertainment company. When he receives a harrowing diagnosis of ALS, he is left with a seemingly impossible decision: choose who is going to take over the company once he is no longer capable of running things. Sound familiar?
The similarities end here as Empire takes a much different trajectory than Succession. While Lucious has several children and decides to start grooming one of them to take over, a wrench is thrown into the plan when his ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is released from prison after 17 years. She’s back and ready to take what she believes is rightfully hers. Logan’s ex Marcia (Hiam Abbass) might have been crafty and opportunistic, but she has nothing on Cookie.
This reboot of the 1980s prime-time soap opera of the same name is exactly that, a soap opera. There’s no depth to the story nor intense and riveting financially-driven dialogue like in Succession. But if you’re into obscenely wealthy, entitled, self-centered members of the one percent and need something a bit lighter (and frankly, more ridiculous) after coming down from the high of that tragic ending, Dynasty is a nice departure from Succession that almost parodies the rich and famous.
Patriarch Blake Carrington (Grant Show) is much like Logan Roy in that he thinks mostly of himself and will manipulate deals in his favor. His children Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), Steven (James Mackay), and later revealed to be a third child Amanda (Eliza Bennett), all have their own career aspirations. In some cases, this involves the family’s massive conglomerate Carrington Atlantic, a billionaire dollar company with as much influence as Waystar Royco.
Stream Dynasty on Netflix.
Best described as Succession meets Sons of Anarchy, the setting in Yellowstone is a far cry from the bustling corporate world of New York City where Succession is set. Rather, it’s on a cattle ranch on a Native American Reservation. The two shows, however, share the same story about a headstrong patriarch dealing with his troublesome children. John Dutton II (Kevin Costner) is the owner of the ranch, and he’s often at odds not only with his children but the people who want a piece of his rustic empire. What’s more, his troubled kids each have their own ideas of how things should be done, and inflated egos fueled by their privileged and often cold upbringing.
John Dutton II is just as ruthless, if not more so, than Logan. He and the people who work for him aren’t afraid to resort to violence to protect their assets and family business. Meanwhile, the kids are just as troubled as the Roy kids on Succession. Given how many spin-offs Yellowstone has spawned, including 1883, 1923, and several other upcoming projects, there’s plenty to keep you busy watching.
Stream Yellowstone on Peacock.
Also set in the corporate world, and taking place in New York City, Billions similarly follows a ruthless businessman who luxuriates in his opulent lifestyle and isn’t afraid to bend the rules to fuel it. While Bobby “Axe” Axelrod’s (Damian Lewis) kids are still young on the show, he faces opposition from others. They don’t want to take over his role but rather want to take him out of the hedge fund business altogether, believing that he uses more than just aggressive tactics to pad his pocketbook. His number-one rival is Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), the U.S. Attorney.
Axe and Logan Roy share a lot of similarities in the fact that most of what they do is for their own personal gain. Logan does worry about the future of his company, however, as it relates to his reputation, while Axe, fueled by childhood insecurities, worries about winning at all costs. Like Logan, there are people who get in his way, from his own employees to rival business owners like Michael Prince (Corey Stoll), who took over as lead in the sixth season.
Stream Billions on Amazon Prime Video.
Delving into the corporate world from the perspective of young up-and-comers, Industry tells an opposite rags-to-riches story to Succession, but it’s in the same vein. Rather than a long-time company head looking to make his exit plan, Industry is about recent graduates who are preparing to solidify their positions in the financial business. However, the prestigious investment bank they all dream of working for only has a limited number of positions, which means the students must compete against one another to secure the few that are available. They might not be siblings, but they are as cutthroat and underhanded toward one another as the Roy siblings are toward each other as well.
Each of the many main characters on Industry has their own secrets, strengths, and weaknesses. The powers that be skillfully navigate those to figure out who truly is the best person for the job, just as Logan has done through the entire series Succession.
Stream Industry on Max.
A black comedy like Succession, The Righteous Gemstones takes the idea of family-owned businesses and succession plans to the realm of religion. The Gemstones are a family of televangelists led by patriarch Eli (John Goodman) who are supposedly doing God’s work. However, their opulent lifestyle, funded by church donations, strongly indicates that there are selfish reasons behind their career paths, even if their followers don’t quite see it.
Like Logan Roy, all of Eli’s kids are immature and unfit to take over, spoiled by the riches they have become accustomed to in their lives. Despite belief to the contrary, they have little knowledge of how to actually run a business, nor the drive to do so without the comfortable financial cushion under them. Through the seasons, Eli not only has to deal with his impulsive, arrogant children but also trouble from other family members, including his brother-in-law who opens a satellite church. The Gemstone Salvation Center is effectively Waystar Royco in the form of megachurches.
Stream The Righteous Gemstones on Max.
The theme of a business founder who is faced with the need to build a succession plan is found once again in Riches. In this British drama, Stephen (Hugh Quarshie) has built a cosmetics empire that has made him not only extremely successful but also a strong face in the Black-owned business space. But when he has a heart attack, he is faced with an important decision: who will take over? Naturally, as with Succession, the family members fight over who is the right person for the job.
In this series, it’s children from two separate marriages who come face-to-face, each wishing to stake claim to what they believe is rightfully theirs.
Stream Riches on Amazon Prime Video.
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