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The Idol will not be returning to HBO for a second season.
HBO has decided to not renew the drama series — co-created by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, and Reza Fahim — after its controversial and divisive first season, ET confirmed.
An HBO spokesperson said in a statement to ET, “The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response. 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 Idol premiered in June and ran for five episodes. The story was left open-ended at the conclusion of the season for the possibility of a second season, although nothing had been previously confirmed.
The Idol starred Tesfaye as Tedros, a charismatic cult leader/self-help guru who discovers Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), an up-and-coming pop singer. As he manipulates his way into her life, it becomes clear he will stop at nothing to make her famous.
Controversy surrounding the show and its production first surfaced several months before the first episode’s premiere, when sources told Rolling Stone that the project had gone “wildly, disgustingly off the rails.”
The original director left the series after production began, with Levinson taking over at the helm, which subsequently led to significant and expensive reshoots.
The show was also critically panned, overall, drew pushback for its graphic sexual nature and shock value and was slammed for being both sleazy and, as several critics suggested, boring. The series has a 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The series was also met with increasingly declining ratings, after a lukewarm premiere.
Back in June, midway through the show’s five-episode run, Tesfaye told Variety he expected all of this criticism but was not fazed by it.
“It’s almost educational, that this is what comes with being incredibly famous,” Tesfaye said of the show’s treatment of fame. “You’re surrounded by people who you’re not sure what their true intentions are, even if it seems like they’re good. You just never know. But of course, I’ve been very fortunate to have people around me that I’ve known almost my entire life, which is important, and is a gift.”