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Canceled: HBO Chooses To Not Move Forward With ‘The Idol’ After Season 1 Controversy

HBO has reportedly reached a decision regarding The Idol, a recent drama series brought into fruition by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, and featuring Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye. The creators and studio have come to a consensus not to produce a second season of the controversial show, which comes after a drawn-out period of uncertainty of the TV series future.

Why was ‘The Idol’ not picked up for a second season?

Source: akademiks / Instagram / HBO

The recently concluded series The Idol, that features Lily-Rose Depp as a pop star enamored with a Hollywood club owner (Tesfaye), was reportedly subject to mostly negative reviews from critics. Its viewership ratings also were said to be comparatively lower than those of some other recent HBO shows. Social media users were also enraged at Sam Levinson’s taking over of the series and starting over to film. A decision on The Idol‘s renewal or cancellation was seemingly in flux until recently, with no concrete plans for its continuation. Despite having the option to extend the series beyond its initial five episodes, HBO executives reportedly made the decision not to do so. Some fans have speculated the cancelation has something to do with all the controversy surrounded the show since before it even aired.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A representative for HBO recently provided a statemen in which they acknowledge the intense spotlight on the show – but not as one would imagine. “The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” they note. “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.”

Sam Levinson’s Take Over: For Better Or For Worse?

Fans and critics are definitely saying worse. The Idol, created by Levinson, Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim, ended up taking an unconventional and winding path to HBO. The series suffered major changes in April 2022, with director and executive producer Amy Seimetz and numerous cast members being shown out, resulting in extensive reshoots. Levinson ended up directing the full season as well as writing the teleplays for all five episodes. Under the Euphoria creator’s direction, the show was labelled misogynistic, toxic and much more.

Source: Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP / Shutterstock 

A Rolling Stone report published in March, three months before the series premiere, described an endless list of production concerns, ranging from last-minute revisions to what some members of the production team felt was an excessive emphasis on the toxic connection between Depp’s and Tesfaye’s characters. HBO and the show’s team reacted strongly to the allegations, with Tesfaye calling them “ridiculous.” THR critic Lovia Gyarkye said of the finale “felt like the conclusion to an entirely different show.” Continuing, Gyarkye added: “There’s an unintentional aimlessness to the series, which contradicts its projected confidence.”