After one controversial season on HBO, The Idol has been canceled.
The Weeknd co-created the series with Euphoria mastermind Sam Levinson and writer/producer Reza Fahim. The Ethiopian-Canadian singer/songwriter (real name: Abel Tesfaye) also co-starred in the series as Tedros, a Svengali who enters the life of aspiring pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) and takes control of every aspect of her world.
“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 accompanying the cancellation news, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The series was on a roller-coaster ride before it even debuted, from a behind-the-scenes crew shakeup and reshoots in 2022 to a scathing Rolling Stone report of a toxic work environment to a splashy premiere unheard of for a television show at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The Weeknd brushed off the offscreen drama in a Vanity Fair interview in May, saying, “Shows get reshot every day … What are you gonna do? These are the trials and tribulations of it, and that’s what the show is about.” At a Cannes press conference, The Weeknd said he and Levinson were trying to create “something special, something fun, to make people laugh, piss some people off.”
According to THR, The Idol drew 913,000 viewers across all platforms on its June 4 premiere night, with the network saying that the first episode has since reached 7 million viewers in the two-plus months after its debut.