The Murdochs: Empire of Influence (CNN)

“The Murdochs” docuseries has been called “The Real-Life ‘Succession'” (I love that show!).

It’s the story of Rupert Murdoch and his family and was produced by CNN (with some reporting by the New York Times).

“The Murdochs” is almost as mysterious as Rupert Murdoch himself (read my take on its weird history below).

But first, here’s the trailer in case you missed it:

Trailer for “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence (CNN)”

The only trailer I could find on “The Murdochs” is this one above out of the Australian Public Broadcast Service.

Weird Pulling of “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence”

Ok, here’s the weird story I as I recall.

I was lucky enough to watch “The Murdochs” on CNN (YouTube TV recorded it for me) during the short time it was available (around September to November 2022).

I’m a media nerd and I love analyzing the Murdoch family for real (or via “Succession”).

I got to meet Rupert (very briefly) once around 2008. Like him or not, I gotta tell you that the room went electric when he entered it. The dude exudes power.

So I was paying some attention to “The Murdochs” docuseries.

Here’s what I noticed:

September 25, 2022: “The Murdochs” was on CNN and other streamers (then it wasn’t)

CNN aired the 6-part series on broadcast CNN on September 25, 2022.

But as far as I know they never aired it again.

CNN+ was going to stream it but then CNN killed CNN+ overall.

That’s understandable — creating new streaming platforms is hard.

Then (I think around October/November 2022) I think I remember that HBO (owned by Warner Brothers (same parent company that owns CNN) aired it on Max.

Skapalaga on Reddit recalls that it was on Max for about 2 weeks.

But then HBO Max pulled it.

I think Apple TV had “The Murdochs” for a bit too (though I don’t remember if it was via a CNN+ trial or somethin’).

By December 2022, “The Murdochs” is gone (but it’s back!)

On December 17, 2022, Ben Mullin of the New York Times tweeted that “The Murdochs” was pulled to “write off’ costs (thanks to CJTus on Reddit for pointing this tweet out).

By late December 2022, CNN and all streaming services took “The Murdochs” series down.

There’ was’s been no public explanation I’ve heard.

There’s not even an official trailer that CNN or sister company HBO Max (which had one) to be found anywhere (I had to grab the trailer from Australia).

CNN still had (and has) a page up for the “The Murdochs” but it just has little clips on it. There’s no guidance on where to watch it

Heck, you can’t even find a Blu-ray or DVD of it! (Amazon usually has something).

Did Rupert put the squeeze on someone?

February 27, 2022: I found “The Murdochs” Doc!

But, alas, the Internet comes to the rescue!

I had set up a Google Alert on the docuseries and got alerted to an Internet Archive link.

After going down some rabbit holes, I found…

Where to Watch The CNN Murdoch Documentary

I found all 7 parts of the docuseries (and a couple of other links to the show outside the U.S.)

Watch The CNN Murdoch Documentary for Free Online Here:

You can watch all of CNN’s Murdoch documentary for free online on

It’s recorded from the original airing on CNN (right down to the ads — which you can skip by just clicking over the time bar or thumbnail images.

It’s a bit more laborious than watching Netflix, but it’s the best I can find!

Here are the 7 episodes and a link to watch them:

If none of the links above work for you, check back here for the latest streaming options:

Watch CNN’s “The Murdochs” Outside the U.S.

In Australia, it looks like you might be able to watch CNN’s “Murdochs” on SBS OnDemand at (I can’t tell for sure since I’m in the U.S. and the link rejects me).

In South Africa, ShowMax says in this video clip that Empire of Influence is “Coming to Showmax”.

Ratings of CNN’as “The Murdochs”:

  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 67/100 (User); na (Critics)

Review of “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence”

“The Murdochs” was produced by CNN with reporting by the New York Times.

Keep in mind that Rupert and his family’s media properties (namely Fox News and the Wall Street Journal) compete with CNN and the NY Times. And Murdoch and his properties are see as on the Republican right and CNN is more moderate with the New York Times on the more liberal left.

That could bias some of the documentary (though I didn’t notice any of that).

So, I’m not sure how balanced the series is. But it’s sure entertaining.

Some of my favorite parts of “The Murdochs” are:

  • E1: Roger Stone Quote: “Murdoch is the most ruthless businessman in world history.”
  • E1: On his son Lachlan’s yacht in the Caribbean, Rupert falls and is stretcher/air-lifted to a Los Angeles hospital.Rupert’s wife, Jerry Hall, asks all his children to come to Rupert’s bedside in case he’s about to die. Rupert has not designated an heir. Rupert recovers (of course!).
  • E1: Murdoch dominates Australia through local newspapers. He then sets his eyes on England, beating out Robert Maxwell to buy News of the World and other British newspapers.
  • E1: He then sets his eyes on the U.S.
  • E1: Rupert buys the Liberal NY Post paper and endorses underdog Ed Koch for Mayor — Koch wins.
  • E2: Murdoch uses New York connector/lawyer Roy Cohn to cozy up to Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Murdoch’s NY Post helps deliver NY state for Reagan, who goes on to win the 1980 presidential election. Reagan later returns the favor by making a waiver for Murdoch to own a TV station.
  • E2: Murdoch buys Metromedia (owner of TV stations in NY, Boston, Chicago, LA) and also buys movie studio 20th Century Fox. This culminates in a 4th broadcast network (Fox Television).
  • E4: Lachlan, once named the heir apparent, quits after losing battles with Fox Exec Roger Ailes. Rupert sets up a family trust in which all 4 of his kids have equal votes and equity in News Corp after Rupert dies.
  • E5: Murdoch’s News of the World gets accused of hacking. England’s The Guardian reports on the story and calls in the New York Times to beef up reporting. James Murdoch, who worries this will hurt his chances of buying BSkyB, shuts News of the World (his dad’s baby) down.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc