Will 'The Idol' get a 2nd season? Controversial show's fate remains undecided - Hindustan Times
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Will 'The Idol' return for season 2? Fate of the HBO series hangs in balance amid mounting criticism

Jun 17, 2023 11:00 PM IST

"The Idol," co-created by The Weeknd, faces uncertainty for a second season due to criticism and dropping ratings.

"The Idol," the controversial series co-created and co-starred by The Weeknd, may not see a second season amidst mounting criticism. The show has been labeled "comically bad," with ratings dropping by 12% after the premiere. However, insiders reveal conflicting information about the show's future.

"The Idol," co-created by The Weeknd, faces uncertainty for a second season due to criticism and dropping ratings. Conflicting reports about its future emerge, while insiders shed light on the show's production challenges and controversies. The decision rests with HBO's Casey Bloys amidst a wave of negative attention and debate about its quality. (HBO)
"The Idol," co-created by The Weeknd, faces uncertainty for a second season due to criticism and dropping ratings. Conflicting reports about its future emerge, while insiders shed light on the show's production challenges and controversies. The decision rests with HBO's Casey Bloys amidst a wave of negative attention and debate about its quality. (HBO)

A source claims that "The Idol" was always intended to be a limited series, not a long-running show. Nevertheless, an HBO insider insists that the decision is yet to be made, emphasizing that it's normal for the network to assess the situation after just two episodes.

HBO, known for pushing boundaries with shows like "Euphoria," was not surprised by the graphic content of "The Idol." Sam Levinson, the show's co-creator and director, has a reputation for provocative storytelling. The series follows the journey of Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp), a pop star who falls under the influence of a cult leader named Tedros, portrayed by The Weeknd.

However, working with The Weeknd in character proved challenging for some cast members. Sources describe the experience as less than ideal, with one even labeling the singer as "egomaniacal." Depp admitted to avoiding The Weeknd when he was in "his zone," but also expressed her admiration for his ability to immerse himself in the role.

Despite these accounts, another source close to the production praised The Weeknd, highlighting how he opened his home for the cast and crew. The majority of the show was shot inside his residence, fostering a positive and intimate working environment.

"The Idol" underwent significant changes during production, including a complete revamp after the original director's departure. The new direction eliminated feminist-leaning storylines, leading to controversy and accusations of promoting a "rape fantasy." Each episode's cost reportedly exceeded $8 million before the extensive rewrites.

Industry insiders reveal that "The Idol" was intended to be a flagship series for HBO Max, the streaming service's first major offering. Despite the initial buzz surrounding the show, there were concerns about its quality from the start. However, the recent negative attention has generated headlines, compensating for any perceived shortcomings.

Also Read | HBO's controversial series 'The Idol' fails to live up to the hype: Is it really TV's most scandalous series ever?

The decision about a second season rests with Casey Bloys, the head of HBO. While Bloys remains optimistic, critics have panned the series, dubbing it "comically bad" and citing its "worst sex scene in history." The Weeknd defended the scene's inspiration from "Basic Instinct," a film known for its mix of sensuality and campy elements.

Although audience numbers dipped after the premiere, insiders argue that inconsistent viewership is a common trend in television. Regardless, "The Idol" has succeeded in generating widespread conversation and debate.

As the fate of "The Idol" hangs in the balance, fans and critics alike eagerly await an official announcement from HBO regarding the show's future.

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