The Idol will not be returning for a second season, HBO has confirmed.

The controversial series wrapped up its first – and only – season in early July after just five episodes, one shorter than its originally planned six-episode run.

A spokesperson for HBO announced the cancellation in a statement to Variety, saying: “The Idol was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response.”

“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 Weeknd The Idol
The Weeknd in HBO series ‘The Idol’ CREDIT: HBO

The Idol – created by Euphoria director Sam Levinson and The Weeknd – starred The Weeknd, Lily-Rose Depp, Troye Sivan, Moses Sumney, BLACKPINK‘s Jennie and more. It told the story of a rising pop idol Jocelyn (Depp) who enters a complicated and toxic relationship with a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult (The Weeknd).

In late June, Moses Sumney – who plays singer Izaak in the series – said to Variety that he was under the impression that the show was always going to be a one-parter: “When I signed on to The Idol, I thought it was a limited series.”

However, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who plays Jocelyn’s manager Destiny, has said to Variety that season one was just setting the scene for what could happen in a second season: “I see season one as setting up the world in great detail and character development, to set up a season two where it’s like, now we’re really going to get in the shit. When you finish a project, it’s always like, ‘Is there a possibility for season two?’ And they’re always like, ‘Yeah, for sure!’ It’s everyone’s desire and intention to do a season two, and until we hear differently, that’s the plan.”

In April last year, the series underwent a creative overhaul where original director, Amy Seimetz, departed the project. Levinson took over to direct all five episodes.

In a report on Rolling Stone earlier this year, various anonymous sources alleged that Levinson’s rewrites and reshoots added more nudity and disturbing sexual content which changed the show’s message.

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