Kieran Culkin: Jesse Armstrong “denied” everybody a fifth season of Succession

Jesse Armstrong formally announced Succession would end after four seasons following the finale’s table read.

Succession Jesse Armstrong

It’s such a rarity for a successful TV show to go off the air in its prime, to let it ride off on its own terms. Yet, that’s exactly what HBO’s Succession did, bowing out after four seasons and two Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series (so far). But many, from the cast to series creator Jesse Armstrong, weren’t so sure Succession would end when it did.

As Kieran Culkin – who played fashion icon Roman Roy on Successionput it, “Jesse Armstrong, our showrunner-writer, didn’t know. He told me before the season started that he thinks this is the end, but he doesn’t know…This year, he mentioned that it might be the end before we started shooting, so I started asking him questions…He explained the entire season to me. And then when he got to the end, I said, ‘Well, that seems like that’s the end of the show.’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, it does, doesn’t it? Although …’ And then he just started talking about all these different ideas off the top of his head.”

Such a tease from Jesse Armstrong feels like just the sort of mind game that a Succession character would play. Culkin added, “And he was like, ‘This is just off the top of my head.’ And then he just pitched an amazing fifth season and then another and another…Then denied. He kept us guessing the whole time. There were some of us that were so sure that there was not going to be another season,” although he said that Sarah Snook (Shiv) was confident there would be a fifth since Armstrong “had very clear ideas on what it was. And it was after the table read for the final episode, he told us…He felt like the story was complete, and creatively that was it? He’s like, ‘I feel like it’s complete.’ I feel like he’s satisfied as a writer.”

While some fans may not be entirely satisfied with how Succession ended based on who they wanted to “win” in the end – and even one of its key stars disagrees with how his character was handled – certainly most would respect Jesse Armstrong’s decision to stop it where it was. As it stands, “With Open Eyes” has a 9.6 rating on IMDb, behind only that season’s “Connor’s Wedding” and the finales for season two and three.

Do you think there should have been a fifth season of Succession? How satisfied are you with how it ended? Give us your thoughts below!

Source: Variety

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.