HBO's 'Succession' sets viewer mark for fourth-season start

NEW YORK (AP) — HBO’s “Succession” opened its fourth and final season with a record first-night audience of 2.3 million viewers, the Nielsen company said on Tuesday.

That tops the previous high for the drama about a backbiting family of media moguls. It beat the 1.7 million who watched last season’s finale the first night it was available, Nielsen said.

For HBO, the first-night audience is usually only a fraction of the number of people who will watch one of their shows. For example, each episode last season averaged 7.2 million viewers when delayed viewing is taken into account.

The numbers indicate that more people are catching on to the two-time Emmy winner for best drama just as it is approaching the end. There was anticipation for the season premiere, with HBO saying there was four times the viewership of previous “Succession” episodes on HBO Max last week compared to the week before.

The first episode showed how much things are strained between family patriarch Logan Roy and three of his four children, critic Brian Lowry wrote for CNN.

“There was a lot going on in this season opener, but the premiere’s primary function involved setting the stage for the battles and challenges to come,” Lowry wrote.

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