Do the Murdochs Watch ‘Succession,’ the Hit TV Drama Their Family Inspired?

Does Rupert Murdoch watch ‘Succession’? See what we know about the Murdochs’ interactions with the hit TV drama based on their family business.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Oct. 15 2021, Published 11:45 a.m. ET

Rupert Murdoch
Source: Getty Images

With a certain corporate family drama returning to HBO for its third season on Oct. 17, 2021, viewers once again want to know: Does Rupert Murdoch watch Succession? After all, the Murdochs, the famous family behind News Corp, inspired the Emmy-winning drama—at least, partly.

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(On the other hand, star Brian Cox colorfully shrugged off the comparisons at the 2020 Golden Globes, telling reporters, “I am playing Logan Roy. Logan Roy is totally our creation. Rupert Murdoch has f—k-all to do with it.”) Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether Rupert watches the show, but it certainly sounds like some of his family members do, including his wife and one of his daughters.

Elisabeth Murdoch loves ‘Succession’ but “finds it a little difficult at times,” according to Cox

keith tyson elisabeth murdoch
Source: Getty Images

Keith Tyson and Elizabeth Murdoch

In the press room at the 2020 Golden Globes, Cox said that he had recently bumped into a Murdoch family member while ordering a latte in a London café, reports Variety.

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“Somebody tapped me on the show and said, ‘We’re loving your show. … I mean, my wife finds it a little difficult at times, but on the whole, she’s really, really enjoying it.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s good. Why is your wife finding it difficult?’ He said, ‘Well, my wife is Elisabeth Murdoch.’” Elisabeth, Rupert’s second daughter, married artist Keith Tyson in 2017.

Cox continued: “I said, ‘Oh, ah, well, yeah, I’m sorry.’ He said, ‘No, it’s fine.’ He said, ‘But can you go easy on her next season?’ I said, ‘We’ll do our best.’” Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv Roy on Succession, also reported that Elisabeth was watching the show. “I have it on good information that she’s actually watching the show,” the actress told Town & Country in 2019.

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Jerry Hall is reportedly a fan of the HBO show, too

A 2019 New York Times article about Succession reported that Jerry Hall, Rupert’s wife, has told people she watches the show avidly. Succession creator Jesse Armstrong told The New York Times that the show began its life as an unproduced screenplay titled Murdoch. But in developing the TV show, he also found inspiration in other business titans, including late Viacom and CBS chairman Sumner Redstone and former Tele-Communications Inc. CEO John Malone.

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“What would happen if a charismatic, trusted, feared, founder/CEO was suddenly out of the picture?” he said, recalling the germ of the Succession idea. “What are the repercussions?”

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James Murdoch said he’d seen “not even a peek” of ‘Succession’ but his wife was tempted to check it out

james murdoch
Source: Getty Images

James Murdoch

James Murdoch, Rupert’s younger son, flat-out denied watching the show in a 2019 interview with The New Yorker. “I don’t watch Succession,” he said. “Not even a peek. Why would I?” Talking to The New York Times in 2020, however, James said that his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, had been tempted to tune in.

So how could James not watch the show? “I think you’d find it really easy,” he said. “I feel like every few years I set out on something new and it’s not this drama that other people try to make about it. But I don’t know anything about the show.”


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