The Idol Cancelled by HBO after Just One Season

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An HBO’s spokesperson confirmed The Idol’s cancellation, saying in a statement that the show was one of its “most provocative original programmes” and it had been “pleased by the strong audience response”.

Television drama The Idol has been cancelled by HBO after just one, poorly received season.

“After much thought and consideration, HBO, as well as the creators and producers have decided not to move forward with a second season,” an HBO spokesperson confirmed in a statement Monday. “The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programmes, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response.”

They added: “We’re grateful to the creators, cast, and crew for their incredible work.”

The five-part series, created by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson and pop singer Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, focused on the story of an up-and-coming music star (Lily-Rose Depp) who falls in with a charismatic cult leader and nightclub owner (Tesfaye), pulling back the curtain to display the slimy side of the music industry.

Released in the UK on Sky and NOW, The Idol attracted a significant amount of backlash, thanks to its explicit sexual content.

The music industry satire, which was met with excitement when it was first announced, was dubbed by some critics as abusive and pornographic following its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Audiences were also unimpressed, and rumours of the show’s cancellation began before its finale had even aired.

Back in June, HBO had denied reports that the series had already been cancelled, saying the future of the show was yet to be “determined”.

After the final episode aired, Tesfaye appeared to hint a second season could be on the cards.

“The finale,” the musician wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. “Grateful to share this moment with you all as the season comes to an end. Continue to push the vision no matter how bumpy the journey.”

“Jocelyn Forever,” he added, using the name of Depp’s character in the series.

However, The Idol’s critically lambasted finale saw reviewers brand the series “one of the worst programmes ever made”, with The Telegraph’s Ed Power writing that the “disastrous” drama had become “as illogical as it was boring and sexist”.

“The expression ‘From the sublime to the ridiculous’ has seldom felt more fitting than in watching ‘The Idol,’ HBO’s new wannabe-sexy drama,” a review from CNN’s Brian Lowry said in June.

Lowry later added that HBO had “wound up with a laughably bad ‘Showgirls’ for our times, bringing its run of sterling dramatic successes (see ‘Succession,’ ‘The White Lotus’ and ‘The Last of Us’) to a crashing and conspicuous halt.”

“HBO can write off ‘The Idol’ as an experiment in creative freedom that didn’t pay off, which happens all the time,” Lowry concluded.

Sam Levinson and The Idol’s cast haven’t yet commented on news of the show’s cancellation.