The Idol won’t be returning for a Season 2. The controversial show helmed by Sam Levinson and The Weeknd will not be renewed by HBO after its mixed-reviewed first season.
“’The Idol’ was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” a spokesperson for HBO told Variety. “After much thought and consideration, HBO, as well as the creators and producers have decided not to move forward with a second season.”
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“We’re grateful to the creators, cast, and crew for their incredible work,” the spokesperson added.
The Idol — starring Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd — was at the center of controversies since before it aired on HBO, having been pushed back repeatedly and plagued by delays, reshoots, and rewrites. The series later faced allegations of a horrible on-set atmosphere, as reported by Rolling Stone. Interviews with 13 members of the show’s cast and crew revealed claims that included one source who described potential scenes as “sexual torture porn,” while another said the show went from “a dark satire of fame and the fame model” to “the thing it was satirizing.”
After finally premiering at Cannes, the project faced mixed or negative reactions to the show’s empty sleaze.
Levinson addressed the Rolling Stone story about the troubling accusations on set at Cannes, saying that this magazine could “write whatever it wants” and that when his wife read him the article, “I said, ‘I think we’re about to have the biggest show of the summer.’ My only gripe is that they intentionally omitted anything that didn’t fit their narrative. But there’s been a lot of that lately.”
Rolling Stone’s David Fear described the first two episodes that were screened at the festival as feeling “nasty, brutish, much longer than it is, and way, way worse than you’d have anticipated.”
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