The controversial series from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, will not be returning for a second season.
It’s not a huge surprise given the critical and commercial reception of the show, which starred Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp.
It also came after extensive reshoots following the departure of director Amy Seimetz,
as revealed by Deadline in April 2022, and a reduced order taking its total number of episodes to five.
Some of the cast did mention the possibility of a second season during interviews,
though show insiders said that creators did not come into the production process with a plan for a multi-season arc.
“The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” said an HBO spokeswoman.
“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.”
HBO only released viewing data for the first two episodes. The premiere reportedly drew a same-day audience of 913,000 across HBO and Max,
while the second episode dipped slightly to 800,000. According to HBO, the decrease in Week 2 came from linear viewing, not from viewing on Max —
which makes sense considering the series likely was targeting a younger demographic than the typical linear TV viewer.
At the time, Nielsen reported that The Idol viewers on Max were tracking 21 years younger than viewers via the HBO channel, a wider disparity than the typical HBO drama.
After a week on Max, viewing for the first episode had ballooned to 3.6M. HBO said that outpaced the series premieres for both The White Lotus (3M in 2021) and Euphoria (3.3M in 2019) in the same time period.
By the end of Season 1, the average episodic audience was 6.6M for Euphoria. As for The White Lotus, its Season 1 episodes grew to about 9.3M viewers.
However, while critical and audience reception of Euphoria and The White Lotus largely was positive, the same cannot be said of The Idol.
By the time that the final episode aired just a month later, the overwhelming sentiment around the show was negative. This was likely to have severely impacted viewing habits.