HBO has decided not to move forward with a second season of the drama series “The Idol.” The show, created by Sam Levinson and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, received mostly negative reviews from critics and failed to gain significant viewership compared to other recent HBO shows. Starring Lily-Rose Depp as a pop star influenced by a Hollywood club owner played by Tesfaye, “The Idol” was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs.
An HBO spokesperson expressed gratitude to the creators, cast, and crew for their incredible work on the show. The decision to not renew the series for another season was made after much thought and consideration. Despite initially being unsure about the show’s fate, sources say there were no plans for a multi-season story but options to continue the show were available following the conclusion of the five-episode season.
The finale of “The Idol” was described by Hollywood Reporter critic Lovia Gyarkye as feeling like the conclusion to an altogether different show. Throughout the production of the series, there were significant changes and challenges faced. During April 2022, “The Idol” underwent a creative overhaul, with director and executive producer Amy Siemetz and several cast members leaving the show. This resulted in Sam Levinson stepping in to direct the entire season and being credited with the teleplays for all five episodes.
Prior to the series premiere, a Rolling Stone article detailed various issues with the production, including last-minute rewrites and concerns about the focus on the toxic relationship between the characters portrayed by Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd. The show’s team and HBO pushed back against these allegations, with The Weeknd calling them “ridiculous.”
“The Idol” premiered on HBO on June 4, 2022, after a premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It garnered 913,000 viewers across all platforms on its premiere night and grew to 3.6 million viewers after a week. However, the ratings for subsequent episodes declined.
HBO revealed that, since the series premiere, the first episode of “The Idol” has attracted a total of 7 million viewers over 85 days. However, the network did not release specific viewership figures for the entire five-episode run.
“The Idol” was executive produced by Sam Levinson, Abel Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim, along with Joe Epstein, Kevin Turen, Aaron Gilbert for Bron, Ashley Levinson, Nick Hall, Sara E. White, and A24.
In conclusion, despite being one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, “The Idol” will not return for a second season. The series faced numerous challenges during its production and failed to garner positive reviews and significant viewership. HBO expressed gratitude to the show’s creators, cast, and crew for their work.