HBO cancels The Idol after just one season

Lily Rose Depp and The Weeknd at the premiere of The Idol

HBO has officially announced that they won’t be going ahead with a second season of Sam Levinson’s The Idol following a controversial run.

The five-episode series starring Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp sparked some serious friction among viewers before it even premiered on HBO this July.

While the Hollywood satire aired, social media was rampant with criticism, debate, and discussion, but viewership never quite matched HBO’s other top-billed shows.

A spokesperson for the TV network confirmed in a statement on Monday (28 August) that The Idol would not be renewed for a season two.

The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” read the statement, per Variety.

Lily Rose Depp in The Idol
Critical reception to ‘The Idol’ from Sam Levinson had been poor (ONEMedia/ YouTube)

“After much thought and consideration, HBO, as well as the creators and producers have decided not to move forward with a second season. We’re grateful to the creators, cast, and crew for their incredible work.”

You may like to watch

The Idol first became embroiled in drama back in March when Rolling Stone published an investigation into claims of a ‘toxic’ environment on set and a storyline packed with ‘disturbing sexual content’.

The team behind the series kept quiet – except for this tweet from The Weeknd, who co-produced the series – all the way up until its Cannes Film Festival premiere in May, after which it earned a dismal nine per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Although the controversy gave The Idol a boost in the viewer count when the first episode dropped on HBO in June, numbers quickly started to dwindle week-on-week.

The series told the story of Jocelyn, an up-and-coming pop star with a huge management team and a whole lot of issues, played by Lily-Rose Depp.

Helping her navigate her own path to destruction is Tedros, played by The Weeknd, an exploitative and creepy club owner who wants to help Jocelyn find her sound.

It’s not exactly clear whether The Idol would have been set up well enough for a second season in the first place, but an old tweet from HBO would suggest that it had been on the cards.

Not long into The Idol‘s run, HBO released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, to shut down reports that they had already decided not to move forward with a second season.

“It is being misreported that a decision on a second season of The Idol has been determined. It has not, and we look forward to sharing the next episode with you Sunday night,” the tweet read.

Two months later, it looks like they’ve finally come to a decision.

Please login or register to comment on this story.