On Monday (Aug. 28, 2023), HBO confirmed that The Idol has been canceled after one season on the premium cable network. Co-created by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Sam Levinson, the series followed the twisted romance of Tedros (Tesfaye) and Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) amid the backdrop of the modern-day music industry.
“The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” a spokesperson for HBO said 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.”
As series star Da’Vine Joy Randolph teased prior to The Idol‘s Season 1 finale, the show had intended to spin out into a second season. As those who have seen the finale know, that involved turning the tables on Jocelyn and Tedros’ relationship, indicating that she had the upper hand and was emotionally manipulating him throughout the show.
“I think that everyone’s intention is to have a second season,” Randolph revealed to TVLine. “This was never intended to be a limited series. HBO has been very happy with it… There will be a turning [of] the table, and I think a really exciting set-up entering into Season 2… It will be very interesting to see how people respond to this last episode and see how things turn. It’s going to show you something different that we haven’t seen in a while.”
The Idol made headlines even before its premiere after reports revealed that the series’ original director, The Girlfriend Experience co-creator Amy Seimetz, dropped out of the project even though most of production had already been completed. Levinson then stepped in to creatively retool the series and reportedly change the female-focused narrative that was part of Seimetz’s vision. The Idol was then shortened from a six-episode order to only five episodes.
“The season ended up being five episodes when it was all said and done after Sam [Levinson] took over and made significant changes,” a source claimed shortly before Season 1 ended. “The story only ended up requiring 5.”