“’The Idol’ was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” said a spokesperson for HBO. “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.”
Season 1 concluded — after just five episodes, shortened from the originally planned six-episode run — on July 2. The decision to cancel the series was made recently after a lack of clarity for both viewers and cast members about whether the series had the potential to continue.
Created by Levinson and the Weeknd, with the Weeknd starring opposite Lily-Rose Depp, “The Idol” began making headlines well before its debut. In April 2022, news broke that Amy Seimetz had exited as director and would be replaced by Levinson as the series underwent significant reshoots. Then, a March 2023 Rolling Stone report detailed serious allegations about a toxic set, which the Weeknd responded to by posting a deleted scene where his character described Rolling Stone as “irrelevant.” At the Cannes Film Festival, Levinson said the article made him realize the show would be “the biggest show of the summer.”
Overall, “The Idol” was poorly received, with a 19% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Along with Levinson and the Weeknd, Reza Fahim served as co-creator of “The Idol.” All three executive produced with Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, Joe Epstein, Sara E. White and Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert. A24 also produced.