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‘The Idol’ Is Ending Early. Here’s Why.

Jul 25, 2023

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Even if you haven’t watched

The Idol, you’ve probably heard about The Idol. HBO’s newest gamble follows Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), a struggling pop star who’s desperate to become bigger than ever after a mental breakdown. While out with friends, she ends up meeting Tedros (played by The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye), a cult leader and nightclub owner who takes her under his wing and quickly takes control over her life and career. The show is raunchy and over-the-top, and not in a good way. Rotten Tomatoes scores from both audiences and critics are shockingly low.

Still, it came as a surprise when news began to spread that The Idol would actually end with 5 episodes instead of 6. Online, people are theorizing the show’s abrupt ending actually occurred due to the negative reviews the show was receiving. It’s uncommon for a show to end early despite what was originally ordered unless a show is actually canceled. So a last minute change in episodes is unexpected to say the least.

Naturally, people want to know what in the world is going on with The Idol right now. Is it canceled? What does it mean that it won’t have a sixth episode anymore? From what we know, it sounds more like a miscommunication than anything around the actual cancellation of the show. Here’s what we know about the canceled sixth episode of The Idol, and what it could mean about the show at large.


Is The Idol Canceled?

No, it’s not canceled. Back on June 15, HBO PR tweeted that any decisions about the future of The Idol “is being misreported.” As of now, the show has no definitive Season 2, but it also isn’t decidedly canceled either. All we know is that the show is ending one episode earlier than expected.

Why is The Idol finale airing early?

According to Buzzfeed News, The Idol is not finishing earlier than expected. In a recent GQ profile, Tesfaye referred to the show as a “five hour film,” and when the show premiered at Cannes, it was billed as a five-episode series.

Back in November 2021, however, according to Deadline, the show was planned to have six episodes. It seems now that this iteration of the show was always planned to wrap its Season 1 story up in five episodes, and that the six episode version was scrapped when the show’s original director, Amy Seimetz, left the production due to creative differences.

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