‘Succession’ Producer Debunks Viral Theory About Tom’s Name

Written by on May 31, 2023


It should come as no surprise that the bulk of the episodes that comprised the four seasons of Succession revolved around the figures who spent the series vying to eventually replace Logan Roy as the head of one of the biggest media conglomerates on the planet.

It was pretty evident we’d finally learn the answer to that question when the series finale aired on Sunday, and there was no shortage of theories to pick from when it came to attempting to predict what would transpire by the time the 39th episode of Succession wrapped up.


If you clicked on this article in the first place, I’m assuming you’re aware the “winner” of Succession was none other than Tom Wambsgans, the estranged husband of Shiv who managed to outfox her, Kendall, and Roman en route to stepping into the role formerly occupied by their father.

It wasn’t necessarily a shocking outcome, and plenty of people were convinced it had been telegraphed from the start thanks to a viral theory that used Tom’s surname to link him to Bill Wambsganss, an MLB player from the early 1900s who’s best remembered as the only man to record an unassisted triple play in the World Series.

That supposed foreshadowing hinged on the argument that Tom pulled off an unassisted “triple play” of his own by successfully fending off the trio of Roy siblings who found themselves on the outside looking in when the final credits rolled.

However, it doesn’t appear that was actually the case.

After the episode aired, Slate reached out to Frank Rich, who served as an executive producer on Succession. He dismissed the idea there was a Wambsgans-Wambsganss link, saying “We were looking for something off-key that would be awkward to say/pronounce” and pointing out some other issues with the theory:

“I hate to spoil the internet’s fun, but it’s false.

Tom’s family name was picked before we had shot a first season, let alone mapped out precise story twists that would culminate 39 episodes later!

Not to mention that many of the key writers on the show, starting with its creator, Jesse [Armstrong], are British, live in London, and are devoted to British football.”

There you have it.

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