'Succession' Stars Score Major Pay Raises Ahead of Third Season (Exclusive)

THR_Succession_Group shot-Photographed by David Needleman-SPLASH-2019
David Needleman

It turns out the stars of HBO's critical darling Succession know a thing or two about negotiating. According to multiple sources, the leading actors of the Emmy-winning dramedy have scored major pay raises ahead of the show's third season. HBO declined to comment.

Although ensemble casts will often band together ahead of substantial renegotiations, the Succession actors were said to have negotiated separately. Still, sources say most members of the Roy family and its hangers-on — Jeremy Strong (who plays Kendall Roy), Sarah Snook (Siobhan Roy), Kieran Culkin (Roman Roy), Alan Ruck (Connor Roy), Matthew Macfadyen (Tom Wambsgans) and Nicholas Braun (Cousin Greg) — ended up at the same number, roughly $300,000 to $350,000 per episode. And in a move that would make Logan Roy proud, Brian Cox is said to have landed at a bigger figure than the rest.

The new pacts represent generous bumps up from the actors' earlier salaries — the majority of which were under $100,000 an episode, according to one source. Succession, a media empire saga that draws inspiration from families like the Murdochs and the Redstones, became a sleeper hit midway through its first season and went on to win the Emmy for best drama series writing. The show has become increasingly important to the HBO brand after longtime favorites like Game of Thrones and Veep finished their runs last year.

The raises also reflect the ballooning price for top talent in today's ultracompetitive content landscape, placing the cast on the high end of the TV pay spectrum. In comparison, the adult Stranger Things stars — Winona Ryder and David Harbour — ended up at a similar number ($350,000) per episode after their third-season renegotiations, while the kid actors were said to get $250,000, though those figures are said to be higher now that the show is the midst of its fifth season.

And on another HBO series, Westworld, the show's leads — Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton — saw their pay increase to around $250,000 an episode after their own third-season negotiations. Meanwhile, broadcast hit This Is Us doled out the same amount per episode to its stars as it headed into its third year. 

Succession was slated to start shooting its upcoming season this month but, like virtually all production at the moment, filming was postponed indefinitely due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Cox is repped by Paradigm, Insight and Jamie Mandelbaum at Jackoway Austen. Strong is with WME and Steve Warren at Hansen Jacobson. Snook and Macfadyen are with UTA. Ruck is repped by APA and Mitch Smelkinson at Goodman Genow. Culkin is with CAA and Brookside Artist Management. Braun is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and, like Cox, Mandelbaum at Jackoway Austen.