The Weeknd’s ‘The Idol’ Canceled After One Season on HBO

The Idol (Credit: HBO)

It’s over for The Idol.

HBO announced Monday the controversial drama series won’t return for a second season.

The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” the network said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“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,” the statement continued.

The sex-filled drama was co-created by Abel “the Weeknd” Tesfaye, Euphoria director Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim.

The storyline centered on a shady self-help guru and cult leader who became romantically involved with an up-and-coming female pop singer.

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Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp led the cast.  The series also starred Debby Ryan, the late Anne Heche, Melanie Liburd, Steve Zissis, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Hari Nef, Nico Hiraga, Maya Eshet, Liz Caribel Sierra, Kyla Dyangay, Troye Sivan and TV on the Radio singer Tunde Adebimpe.

The five-episode show premiered on June 4, with the final episode airing on July 2.

The first episode drew 913,000 viewers with the audience growing to 3.6 million after a week, THR reported. HBO said the audience for the premiere has since grown to 7 million viewers. But viewership declined over the other episodes.

The series generated debate on social media with viewers praising and panning the racy storylines and the show’s acting.

Rolling Stone published an exposé on the series in June. The magazine cited 13 sources as confirming the show had “gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails.”

In a June interview with GQ, Tesfaye said he welcomed debate about the series

“I just think discussion is healthy, no matter what. To me it’s like, I’m just happy that there’s conversation. That’s important for anything I do, especially this new medium that I’m in,” he said.