HBO Won't Be Bringing Back The Weeknd's Pop Star Drama 'The Idol' for a Second Season

Created by the singer with 'Euphoria' mastermind Sam Levinson, this Lily-Rose Depp-starring look inside the music industry won't be coming back.
Sarah Ward
Published on August 29, 2023

Some pop star dreams just aren't meant to be, and The Idol's are now among them. Whether you watched some of it, the whole thing or simply read about it (because no one could avoid the latter), the HBO series has been one of the most talked-about shows of 2023 — when it started dropping sneak peeks from July 2022, too, but especially once it hit streaming in June this year. All that chatter hasn't inspired the US network to bring it back for a second season, however, and unsurprisingly.

As per Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the show has been cancelled after its first season — which ran for five episodes, and focused on singer Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp, Voyagers) and nightclub impresario Tedros (Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd).

"The Idol was one of HBO's most provocative original programs, and we're pleased by the strong audience response," said a HBO representative 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."

Set within the music industry, The Idol followed Jocelyn as she attempted to make a comeback, got caught up in controversy and met Tedros. It bears more than a passing resemblance to UK series I Hate Suzie, but with its own stacked cast — and with Sam Levinson, the mastermind behind Euphoria, creating it alongside The Weeknd.

The Idol's packed list of on-screen talent also spanned Red Rocket's Suzanna Son, Boy Erased's Troye Sivan, Schitt's Creek's Dan Levy, singer-songwriter Moses Sumney, BLACKPINK's Jennie Kim, Only Murders in the Building's Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Hacks' Jane Adams, Bodies Bodies Bodies' Rachel Sennott and Inglourious Basterds' Eli Roth.

Also appearing: Hank Azaria (Hello Tomorrow!), Hari Nef (Barbie), Steve Zissis (Happy Death Day 2U), Melanie Liburd (This Is Us), Tunde Adebimpe (Marriage Story), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Saved By the Bell) and Nico Hiraga (Booksmart), plus Anne Heche (All Rise) in what was one of her last performances.

Controversy surrounded the show not just once it was releasing episodes, but beforehand. Prior to arriving on streaming — before it premiered at 2023's Cannes Film Festival, too — the Los Angeles-set series started with She Dies Tomorrow's Amy Seimetz directing every single episode. But back in April 2022, it was revealed that Seimetz had left the project and reshoots were underway as a result.

Reports also surfaced about the working environment — and, neither the viewer nor the critical response was anywhere near glowing, making The Idol's cancellation far always likely.

Check out the trailer for The Idol below:

The Idol season one streams via Binge in Australia and Neon in New Zealand.

Via Variety / The Hollywood Reporter. Images: Eddy Chen/HBO.

Published on August 29, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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