Home #Hwoodtimes I Swear! “Succession” wins the (expletive deleted) swear-word contest with other (blankety...

I Swear! “Succession” wins the (expletive deleted) swear-word contest with other (blankety blank) television series in new study

By Faith Bryan

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/27/24 – With awards season in full swing, the folks behind the language learning platform Preply decided to take a look at how foul language is permeating the airwaves. They recently undertook a study of the top series of the season/series finales on television that freely use salty language, and the results are pretty (expletive deleted) revealing!

HBO’s “Succession” is the big winner, out cussing its closest rival by almost 2-1. The series finale of “Succession” contains a whopping 235 swear words, more than any other TV finale. The previous king of cussing was “The Wire,” which totaled 127 curse words, with “Orange Is the New Black” a distant third now with 88 expletives deleted!

The study by Preply analyzed the scripts from the final episode of 50 of the highest-rated TV finales on IMDB known to have a lot of explicit language, to find out which shows have the most profane conclusions.

And holy (expletive), Batman! The volume of expletives hasn’t hindered the success “Succession” has enjoyed during this season’s awards shows. The program won big at the Emmys, including going home with the coveted statuette for Best Drama Series. The series also took home four Golden Globes, so it’s salty scripts are no deterrent to its success.

Jesse Armstrong, the creator of “Succession,” seems to have no issue with profanity in his work. Several of his shows have a (expletive)-load of foul language.

In addition to winning the overall competition, Armstrong is the champion in the swear-words-per-minute category, The top three series with the most swear words per minute are all shows by Armstrong, and four of the top five belong to him as well. At the rate of  2.67 curse words per minute, “Succession” is a close second to Armstrong’s “The Thick of It,” which dropped expletives at the rate of three per minute!

The aptly titled “Peep Show” is third at 2.04 swear words per minute in its finale, “Are We Going to Be Alright?” Armstrong’s “Veep” is tied with “Eastbound & Down” at 1.13 curse words per minute. If swearing is any indicator, these three shows are more than alright!

For the study, Preply generated a seed list of TV shows known for their profanities, IMDB’s list of top-ranked finales on TV. From that list, they selected the 50 highest-rated TV finales, removing any show with parental guidance under ‘moderate’.

Preply used the definition of profanity used by the policy for potentially offensive language and gestures on TV and radio set by the UK’s Office of Communications, commonly known as Ofcom, which is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries in the United Kingdom.

Preply then sourced the script for each show’s final episode and found the number of profanities within each final episode, and made the final rankings based on finales with the most swear words in total, as well as finales with the most swear words per minute.

Here is a look at the study’s results:

Total Swear Words

Rank TV Show Final Episode Total Swear Words
1 Succession With Open Eyes 235
2 The Wire -30- 127
3 Orange is the New Black Here’s Where We Get Off 88
4 The Thick of It Episode #4.7 87
5 Peaky Blinders Lock and Key 71
6 Veep Veep 52
7 The Sopranos Made in America 51
8 Peep Show Are We Going to be Alright? 49
9 13 Reasons Why Graduation 45
10 The Shield Family Meeting 40

Expletives Per Minute

Rank TV Show Final Episode Expletives per minute
1 The Thick of It Episode #4.7 3
2 Succession With Open Eyes 2.67
3 Peep Show Are We Going to be Alright? 2.04
4 The Wire -30- 1.41
5 Veep Veep 1.13
5 Eastbound & Down Chapter 29 1.13
7 Broad City Broad City 1.04
8 Orange is the New Black Here’s Where We Get Off 0.98
9 Peaky Blinders Lock and Key 0.88
10 Fleabag Episode #2.6 0.85