The Idol cancelled by HBO after just one season

The Idol has been cancelled by HBO after just one season.

The series, created by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson and pop singer Abel Tesfaye/The Weeknd (who also stars), focused on the story of an up-and-coming music star (Lily-Rose Depp) who falls in with a charismatic cult leader.

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

The series was torn apart by critics, with many singling out the show’s writing and Tesfaye’s performance for particular scorn.

In a statement on Monday (28 August), a spokesperson for HBO confirmed that the series would not be returning for a second season.

"The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” they said. “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.”

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

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

“The finale,” wrote the musician in the caption of an Instagram post. “Grateful to share this moment with you all as the season comes to an end.

Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (Eddy Chen/HBO)
Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (Eddy Chen/HBO)

“Continue to push the vision no matter how bumpy the journey,” he continued. “Jocelyn Forever.”

Jocelyn is the name of Depp’s character in the series.

DaVine Joy Randolph, who plays Jocelyn’s manager Destiny, also gave fans hope for a second season, remarking in an interview that season one contained “easter eggs and some stuff put in there that set things up for season two.”

She added that the show’s ending was “definitely open where there could be a season two”.

Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (HBO)
Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (HBO)

However, the sheer amount of criticism that the show received means that its cancellation is unlikely to come as a surprise to many.

Its 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 Idol is available to stream now on Sky and NOW in the UK, and on Max in the US.