Emmys: Jesse Armstrong Wins Best Writing for 'Succession'

The HBO series beat out fellow nominees 'Better Call Saul,' 'Bodyguard,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Killing Eve.'

Jesse Armstrong won the prize for outstanding writing for a drama series for Succession at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. 

Upon accepting the award for the episode "Nobody Is Ever Missing," Armstrong said he was "quite overwhelmed." He then thanked his friend and collaborators, the writers he works with and the "extraordinary" cast who make it pleasure to go to work every day. Finally, Armstrong thanked HBO. 

Succession beat out fellow nominees Better Call Saul (AMC), Bodyguard (Netflix), Game of Thrones (HBO), The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) and Killing Eve (BBC America)

Overall, the first season of the acclaimed series was nominated for five Emmys at this year's awards, including best drama series and noms for directing, writing and casting as well as outstanding original main title theme music, which composer Nicholas Britell won at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 14.

The show follows the succession battles to replace the Rupert Murdoch-like aging media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) among his children as well as immediate family members. Much like the News Corp founder, three of Logan's children are favored to take on the top job at the fictional multimedia conglomerate Waystar Royco: two sons (Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin) and one daughter (Sarah Snook). Oldest child Kendall Roy (Strong), a mimesis of James Murdoch, is, in the first season, considered the natural heir to the throne; however, his younger brother Roman (Culkin) — a Lachlan Murdoch-like figure — and sister Shiv (Snook) — seemingly inspired by Elisabeth Murdoch — emerge as strong contenders throughout the series as each comes in and out of favor.

In August, HBO announced that Succession was renewed for a third season. 

When asked backstage about how he drew inspiration for the characters, Armstrong said, "I knew a lot about the Murdoch family," and noted that he recognized many similarities between media moguls and feelings about mortality and power. "That was my way into this show, the similar thing about these powerful individuals." He went on to say that the writers room was very helpful when digging into the "dysfunction" of these families. 

The 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards aired live on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. For the first time since 2003 — and suggesting a trend after the Oscars recently went without a host —the ceremony was hostless this year.