On Sunday, the season two premiere of HBO’s Succession was met with series-high ratings. In fact, the episode drew the show’s largest first-night audience ever. In total, 1.2 million audience members watched the episode as it aired on HBO, through streaming services, and in replays online. By comparison, season one’s finale drew 997,000 viewers, and the series premiere attracted 918,000. This marks a 22 percent improvement from the season one finale that aired one year ago and a 32 percent improvement for the series premiere in 2018.
Succession is a comedy series that follows a family in charge of the hugely successful international media conglomerate, Waystar Royco. The second season picks up where the first left off with Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the aging patriarch behind Waystar Royco, and his family endeavoring to reconcile with the events of the season one finale. The show won over the hearts of fans and critics alike, earning 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In keeping with its past successes, season two of Succession is already drawing critical acclaim. Rebecca Nicholson from The Guardian wrote that “the hit black comedy about a monstrous media dynasty is back – and it’s as ruthless and flawless as ever.”
The on-air debut of the episode attracted an impressive 612,000 audience members. The series premiere drew only 582,000 by comparison, the season one viewership average being 603,000. The season two premiere has the fifth-most-watched on-air debut of Succession. By comparison, season one’s finale tops the list with roughly 730,000 audience members.
In keeping with recent HBO rating trends however, the linear viewership accounted for a small percentage of total viewership. Replays and streaming brought in an additional 588,0000 viewers, marking a 96 percent jump in viewership from the initial episode debut on HBO. This gain is even larger than that of the Euphoria premiere, which drew attention when its non-linear viewership increased the episode’s audience pool by 70 percent.
Across all platforms, the first season of Succession drew 4.3 million audience members. Based on the premiere alone, season two is on track to contend with this tally.