‘The Idol’ canceled at HBO after just one season

After just one season, HBO’s controversial series “The Idol” will not continue. It starred Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye as Tedros and Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn.

After just one season, HBO’s controversial series “The Idol” will not continue.

A spokesperson from HBO confirmed to NBC News that the show — from Sam Levinson and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye — will not return.

“The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” the spokesperson told NBC News. “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 five-episode series concluded on July 2. It starred Tesfaye as Tedros, a shady club owner who takes aspiring pop star Jocelyn, played by Lily-Rose Depp, under his wing.

Controversy surrounding ‘The Idol’

The show was plagued with controversy throughout its production and release.

In March, Rolling Stone published a report headlined “‘The Idol’: How HBO’s Next ‘Euphoria’ Became Twisted ‘Torture Porn.’” In it, the outlet cited sources who alleged that production had, in the words of the magazine, “gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails.”

The show also faced criticism from the public and other publications.

Playlist called the show “gross and sexist“ while Vulture said it had the air of “faint rape-fantasy porn.”

Tesfaye, who also was a co-creator and writer on the series — responded in an interview published in GQ on June 14, specifically about one scene in the show’s second episode.

Tesfaye said any response, even if negative, means the scene unfolded the way it was intended to.

“How ever you’re feeling watching that scene, whether it’s discomfort, or you feel gross, or you feel embarrassed for the characters, it’s all those emotions adding up to: This guy is in way over his head, this situation is one where he is not supposed to be here,” he said.

Until Aug. 28, it had been unclear what the show’s future at HBO would be.

Variety reports that star Moses Sumney said that he signed on thinking it was a limited series, while star Da’Vine Joy Randolph told the outlet that she thought “everyone’s intention (was) to have a second season.”

According to HBO, despite all the controversy, the series also ranked among Max’s most-watched this summer.

More Stories

Stay informed by joining TruthRow

24/7 coverage from 1000+ journalists. Subscriber-exclusive events. Unmatched political and international news.

You can cancel anytime