Cancelled: HBO Ends the Controversial Series The Idol After its First Season

The series, directed by Euphoria director Sam Levinson, turned out to be a flop

by Jonas Reichel on August 29, 2023

Goodbye, angel: "The Idol" comes to a sudden end after its first season. HBO is reacting to the negative criticism and low viewer numbers by cancelling the show.

"'The Idol' was one of HBO's most provocative original programs, and we're pleased by the strong audience response. 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."

With these words, HBO justified its decision to end the controversial series "The Idol" after its first season and discontinue it. The series, directed by Sam Levinson - who made a name for himself primarily with the drama series "Euphoria" - was doomed from the start. News of chaotic conditions on the set made the rounds long before the release of the first season. The original director Amy Seimetz, for example, left the project because she felt the series was drifting too much in the direction of "torture porn". Sam Levinson and lead actor Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, in particular had contributed to this.

Even after its release, the series was not able to impress: the reviews were crushing. Variety, for example, spoke of a "sordid male fantasy," while The Guardian called the series "boring and unsexy" - not to mention the viewers, who were not impressed either. At the start, the series was able to attract a mere 900 thousand viewers in front of their devices - 17 percent less than at the start of "Euphoria" in 2019. During the remaining run, HBO refused to release the viewership figures and has now decided to scrap the project altogether.

"The Idol" tells the story of the young singer Jocelyn, who wants to work her way to the top of the charts one more time. In the process, she meets the ominous club owner Tedros, with whom she falls in love and who supports her career in his very own way. As a result, the young woman's life spirals out of control.