The internet loves to hate on “The Idol,” but that doesn’t mean the show’s future has been set in stone. HBO has denied a report from Page Six that the controversial drama series from Sam Levinson and The Weeknd won’t be returning for a second season.
“It has been incorrectly reported that a decision on a second season of ‘The Idol’ has been determined,” HBO’s official Twitter account wrote. tweeted Thursday, hours after Page Six’s report. “No, and we can’t wait to share the next episode with you on Sunday night.”
The Story of Page Six quoted two anonymous sources close to the production. A source claimed The Weeknd, or Abel Tesfaye, wasn’t planning a second season of the series and that the show was always “intended to be a limited series.” HBO hasn’t explicitly marketed “The Idol” as a limited series, so it’s unclear if that account is accurate. Another source told Page Six that “The door is definitely still open” and HBO was still waiting for a decision on the show to be made.
HBO and series creators The Weeknd and Levinson, best known for creating “Euphoria,” clearly had high hopes for “The Idol,” even scoring a rare premiere for a TV show at the Cannes Film Festival. But the show has come under extensive scrutiny due to numerous reports alleging behind-the-scenes issues during production.
The Weeknd and Levinson, best known for crafting the HBO hit “Euphoria,” reportedly fired initial director Amy Seimetz over creative disagreements and retooled the series to focus less on the perspective of lead character Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), a pop star drug dealing with a public scandal and more about The Weeknd’s character Tedros, a self-help guru and cult leader. The change caused significant delays in production and a report of Rolling stone in March he claimed that several of the show’s crew members were unhappy with the direction the pair have taken the show, accusing him of misogynistic writing.
When the show premiered, reviews were largely negative, with criticism of its awkward sex scenes, perfunctory writing, and The Weeknd’s performance. The show debuted to solid but unspectacular ratings (913,000 between linear and streaming) and declined by 12 percent in its second episode.
In addition to The Weeknd and Depp, “The Idol” also stars Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan and Jane Adams, with Blackpink member Jennie, Rachel Sennott, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dan Levy and Hank Azaria in recurring roles. The Weeknd and Levinson created the series with Reza Fahim, and the three executive producers with Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, Sara E. White, Joe Epstein and Aaron Gilbert.