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HomeNews'The Idol' Has Fallen at HBO, Cancelled After First Season

‘The Idol’ Has Fallen at HBO, Cancelled After First Season

They’re not idolizing The Idol over at HBO.

After just one season, the series featuring The Weeknd (the Canadian-born singer Abel Tesfaye) is biting the dust. The show had starred Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp and was directed by Amy Seimetz until her departure in the middle of the run, necessitating what has called “extensive reshoots.” The show was eventually directed by Sam Levinson.

Co-created by The Weeknd along with Levinson and Reza Fahim, The Idol had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The series portrayed Lily-Rose Depp in the role of Jocelyn, an aspiring performer in a relationship with Tedros, a nightclub owner played by The Weeknd.

According to an unnamed spokesperson for HBO, the cancellation seems not to have been a unilateral decision. “The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” the source said. “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.”

Statistics released by HBO indicated that the show’s premiere had a same-day audience of 913,000 (data includes both HBO and Max). The second episode drew 800,000 viewers. Nielsen, meanwhile, reported that those who watched The Idol on Max were 21 years younger on average than those who watched it on HBO. Data was released only for the first two episodes.

Viewing data notwithstanding, The Idol seemed star-crossed from the beginning. In addition to the turmoil in the wake of Amy Seimetz’s departure, the show was lambasted by Rolling Stone for allegedly being a toxic workplace. Reviews were less than enthusiastic, with a Variety reviewer using the phrase “sordid male fantasy” to describe the series. It got only a 19 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Check out more of Edward’s articles.

Edward Moran
Edward Moran
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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