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Tara Lachapelle

HBO’s ‘Succession’ Exposes a Hollywood Pain Point

The U.S. entertainment-media landscape is led by aging moguls who don’t want to let go.

Logan Roy has real-life company.

Logan Roy has real-life company.

Photographer: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images 

I’m gonna be here for longer than you think,” Sumner Redstone warned while grinning and wagging an index finger at interviewer Charlie Rose. Redstone was 83 at the time, and he wasn’t kidding.

It was a scene fit for the fictitious Logan Roy, but took place more than a decade before the arrival of HBO’s hit “Succession” — a show about an aging, malevolent media mogul unwilling to cede his throne, even to his children. No, this was 2006, and there sat Redstone, a real-life mogul, vowing to remain a key character in the drama that would later come to a boil at his companies — CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. — and foreshadowing a period in which nearly the whole industry would face its own succession uncertainties and controversies.