The Idol Season 2 Gets Disappointing Release Update (Report)

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
The Idol Season 2

While The Idol Season 1 is still slated to release episodes on Max and HBO, a disappointing update about its sophomore season has emerged online. 

The Idol features Lily Rose-Depp as a popstar named Jocelyn who has a complicated and intimate relationship with Tedros, a character played by The Weeknd.

The show has received negative reviews from critics, with it currently earning a 26% Tomatometer approval rating from critics and a 58% Tomatometer audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The fact that The Idol received harsh reviews from fans and critics led many to wonder if a Season 2 is in the cards. 

Will HBO Renew The Idol for Season 2?

Update: HBO responded to the report that The Idol will not be renewed for a second season, pointing out that a decision on a second season of the series has yet to be determined: 

"It is being misreported that a decision on a second season of The Idol has been determined. It has not, and we look forward to sharing the next episode with you Sunday night."

As per a report from Page Six, the outlet's source explained that The Idol was "never meant to be a long-running show," and it was only intended to be a "limited series." 

The source then noted that working with Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye was "not an ideal experience... and not one [he is] eager to repeat." Another source described the artist/actor as "egomaniacal."

In The Idol, Tesfaye portrays Tedros, a self-help guru and the leader of a mysterious cult. 

Page Six's source also mentioned that HBO was "not shocked" by fan and critics' reaction toward the Sam Levinson-produced series: 

“It’s a Sam Levinson show, and you know what you’re getting with a Sam Levinson show.”

Levinson is the show's co-creator and director of HBO's Euphoria, which also received the same surprising reactions from fans and the press during its steamy first season. 

Why Is The Idol Embroiled in Controversy?

It would be unfortunate if The Idol doesn't return for a second season. However, many would agree that it's for the better. 

While The Idol already has a controversial story from the get-go, the show's behind-the-scenes development is no stranger to real-world controversy. 

In March 2023, Rolling Stone unveiled an extensive report about the show's "toxic set environment and creative clashes," with allegations claiming that production went "wildly, disgustingly off the rails."

As a result, HBO denied the said accusations, noting in its official statement to Rolling Stone that the show's creative team "has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment."

The controversy didn't stop there, though, since there were several exits, via Deadline, that occurred off-screen, such as the departure of director Amy Seimetz in April 2022, high-profile crew members, and actress Suzanna Son who was supposed to portray a cult member in the series. 

These departures stemmed from The Weeknd after calling out the creative direction of the series. As per Deadline in April 2022, the artist felt that the show was "leaning too much into a female perspective rather than his own."

In an interview with Vanity Fair in June 2023, The Weeknd responded by saying that he "thought the article was ridiculous" while also clarifying that he "really loved working" director Amy Seimetz: 

“I thought the article was ridiculous. I wanted to give a ridiculous response to it. I’m sure [Amy Seimetz is] reading all this being like, ‘Why am I being thrown into this?'”

Although controversies have impacted The Idol's release, there's no denying that the show is slowly becoming the main topic of conversation among socials. 

While it becoming a trending topic weekly is definitely not enough for a potential Season 2 renewal, the show is still poised for a grand finish in its debut season. 

The Idol Season 1 is streaming on Max. A new episode premieres every Monday.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.