The Idol will not return for a second season on HBO.
According to Deadline, HBO has opted to pull the plug on The Idol after only one season. This development is unsurprising, given the controversial show’s overwhelmingly negative reception and alleged behind-the-scenes drama.
“The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
What happened with HBO’s The Idol?
Euphoria creator Sam Levinson created The Idol alongside Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) and Reza Fahim. The series premiered on HBO and Max early this past June, running for five episodes through early July. It stars Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn, an up-and-coming pop star who attempts to mount a comeback after a nervous breakdown led to the cancellation of her most recent tour. Jocelyn soon enters a relationship with Tedros, a nightclub owner, self-help guru, and cult leader played by Tesfaye.
Levinson directed all five episodes of The Idol. However, HBO originally picked the show up for six episodes back in 2021, with Amy Seimetz attached to direct them. It was in 2022 that a massive creative overhaul resulted in Seimetz exiting the project and the number of episodes being reduced to five. Shooting on The Idol was reportedly 80 percent complete when Seimetz left, and the subsequent rewrites and reshoots allegedly scrapped her original vision for the show.
The revamped version of The Idol ultimately debuted to strong viewership numbers, but very weak reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the HBO series currently holds an approval rating of 19 percent based on over 102 professional reviews, as well as an audience score of 41 percent. “Every bit as florid and sleazy as the industry it seeks to satirize, The Idol places itself on a pedestal with unbridled style but wilts under the spotlight,” the critical consensus reads.
The Idol is currently streaming on Max.