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10 shows like Succession: What to watch if you're hooked on the HBO drama
Succession has been building massive buzz since it premiered on HBO in 2018. The show is appointment viewing, and for good reason. It’s one of the best series on TV. But if you’re looking for shows like Succession to check out while waiting for season four, it can be hard to match.
Succession follows the Roy clan, a family of spoiled rich kids vying to take over the family media conglomerate from their stern father. The show feels like it captures everything that’s wrong with the world, all condensed into one over-privileged family. And somehow it’s still tremendous (pitch black) fun to watch.
So what are some shows like Succession you can stream? Between family infighting, rich people misbehaving, and power struggles, you do have a few to choose from across US streaming services. Read on for our top 10 picks.
Shows like Succession
Described as a red-state Succession by Vox, Yellowstone certainly has some major points of overlap with the HBO series. Emily Van Der Werff points to some notable plot similarities (but the shows premiered simultaneously, so no one’s ripping anyone off). These include a gruff patriarch to a moneyed dynasty, his bickering brood of potential heirs, and even some supporting players with conspicuous similarities to Succession’s Tom and cousin Greg.
There are just as many major differences though. Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, a sixth-generation homesteader who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. With that responsibility comes crooked politicians, dangerous rivals, and more than a few murders of convenience.
Probably the most oft-cited show like Succession, Billions is certainly playing in the same ballpark of awful rich people behaving badly. While Succession is very much a family drama though, Billions focuses more on legal intrigue. US Attorney Chuck Rhoades works slowly and tirelessly to build an insider trading case against hedge fund celebrity billionaire Bobby Axelrod. The two men play an elaborate game of cat and mouse, seeking to outmaneuver each other at every turn.
There’s certainly some family strife thrown in too, most notably as Rhoades’ wife works for Axelrod’s company and has no plans of torpedoing her own career in the name of her husband’s crusade.
The Righteous Gemstones
An HBO show about an aging father whose kids want to take over the wildly successful family business? Sounds like Succession. It’s also the plot of the wildly funny The Righteous Gemstones, which premiered in 2019 and returned for a second season in January.
Created by funnyman Danny McBride, the show follows a family of televangelists who run successful megachurches and live lavish lifestyles. For all its success though, the family is absurdly dysfunctional, with each of the adult children vying for the love and respect of their father.
The White Lotus
If you watch Succession for the pleasure of seeing miserable rich people behaving badly, then The White Lotus may be right up your alley.
The HBO miniseries follows various guests at an all-inclusive Hawaiian resort over a few days. What we know at the outset is that their week in paradise will end in tragedy, with an unknown character dying by the finale. That puts a dark cloud over a show already brimming with pitch-black comedy, awkward interactions, and class disparity on full display.
Arrested Development may not be immediately obvious among shows like Succession, but the canceled and Netflix-revived comedy checks quite a few similar boxes.
We follow a (formerly) wealthy family of dysfunctional adults who have never really had to work in their lives outside the family mini-mansion business. Now, with the Bluth patriarch in prison awaiting trial for fraud, his children have to step up to look after family affairs. The problem is, they’re inept and can’t get along as they try to decide who can run things in their father’s absence.
Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire sees a father pitting his kids against each other to prove themselves as the rightful heirs to his business empire, making it an obvious choice among shows like Succession.
See also: Everything you need to know about Hulu
Lucious Lyon has made a name for himself as the CEO of Empire Entertainment, a successful hip-hop record label. When he learns that he’s dying, he tries to groom his three sons to take over after he’s gone, which puts them in direct competition with each other. Added to the drama and conflict is Lucious’ ex-wife, who also feels entitled to a piece of the action.
Succession is a show about dynasties, and it resonates today because we are surrounded by talk of dynasties. That goes for politics, business, and even entertainment itself. We’re culturally obsessed with family ties and passing on power from generation to generation.
That’s largely why Dynasty earns its place on this list. While it’s firmly on the guilty pleasure end of the entertainment spectrum, unlike the prestige of Succession, Dynasty covers some familiar ground. A reboot of the 80s prime-time soap opera, Dynasty follows different heirs and heiresses fighting for control of various fortunes, making unlikely alliances, and playing dangerous games of betrayal.
Taking a more positive look at family legacies and succession of power is Queen Sugar, Ava DuVernay’s drama about an estranged family reconnecting when their father dies, leaving his 800-acre sugarcane farm to his three children in equal measure.
The three siblings, who have very much gone their separate ways, come together at their Louisiana family home to find a way forward, healing old wounds while working as a unit to honor their birthright and their father’s legacy and final wishes. If shows like Succession can include shows addressing similar themes in wildly different ways, then Queen Sugar certainly belongs here.
Succession dips into politics from time to time, whether characters are testifying before Congress or, in one embarrassing case, running for president. But it’s really a show about business. Most of its themes, however, are entirely in line with political dramas. That’s why it intersects so well with Hulu’s The Great.
The Great offers a fictionalized take (or “occasionally true story” as stated in the opening) of Catherine the Great’s arrival in Russia, where she would eventually go on to be the nation’s longest-reigning female monarch. But her early days are rocky as she acclimates to her new surroundings and her boorish, inept new husband Peter. Much like Succession, a big part of the fun of The Great is watching truly irredeemable people fight for power none of them deserve.
Game of Thrones
HBO seems to have a lot of shows about toxic families fighting for power. Game of Thrones can certainly be counted among shows like Succession on that level alone — though it gives Succession a run for its money in the swearing department too.
Game of Thrones was a massively popular fantasy series that ran for eight seasons. It centered on many characters vying for the titular throne of the fictional continent of Westeros. Throughout the series, families were pitted against each other, forming alliances, lying, cheating, backstabbing, and leading armies into battle for the privilege of leading the Seven Kingdoms.
Those are our picks of the best shows like Succession that you can watch now.
Which one will you check out while you wait for season four?