From Lily-Rose Depp to BLACKPINK‘s Jennie Ruby Jane, there were so many famous names attached to the sultry (and controversial) HBO series The Idol which premiered in June 2023. So, what happened? Keep reading for details on why they canceled the show and what the cast and creators have said.

Why Did They Cancel ‘The Idol’?

HBO officially canceled the show in August 2023. The reason was most likely due to the fact that it suffered mostly negative reviews from critics, and viewership fell short of other recent HBO shows.

The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” a spokesperson from HBO shared in a statement, per Variety. “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.”

Who Starred in ‘The Idol’?

Co-created by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, The Idol is based on the music industry in Los Angeles.

The show follows a female pop singer named Jocelyn (Lily-Rose) who starts a romance with an L.A. club owner (The Weeknd) who is the leader of a secret cult. Others to star in the drama series are pop singer Jennie, Troye SivanMoses SumneyJane AdamsDan LevyDebby RyanNico HiragaRachel Sennott, Hari NefMike DeanRamsey and Hank Azaria.

The Idol
Eddy Chen/HBO

Jennie explained during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that what originally drew her to the project was the fact that it was about the music industry, and that she thought she “could bring something to the role.”

The South Korean native added, “I trusted Sam [Levinson] to be collaborative with all the scenes that we would be working on together, because it was about the industry.”

Why Was the Release Date of ‘The Idol’ Pushed Back?

The show originally started filming back in November 2021, with Amy Seimetz taking on the role of director-producer, but production dealt with a few disruptions. In April 2022, the release timeline was pushed amid “major changes” which included Amy exiting the project, a new director (Sam) and many crew departures.

On top of that, The Weeknd had to leave from shooting to headline Coachella and start his After Hours til Dawn tour.

Of the changes HBO said, “The Idol’s creative team continues to build, refine, and evolve their vision for the show and they have aligned on a new creative direction. The production will be adjusting its cast and crew accordingly to best serve this new approach to the series. We look forward to sharing more information soon.”

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