By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

On Sunday, June 4, HBO (and Max) debuted a buzzy new original drama series called The Idol, starring Lily-Rose Depp (Johnny’s daughter) as a pop queen whose career is derailed by mental issues. She turns to a mysterious nightclub owner (singer The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye) for help but the relationship comes with new twists that she might not be able to handle. Thanks to the co-stars, the series was expected to be a ratings magnet in the 18-34 age group for HBO which normally tends to draw a slightly older crowd. The network and its sister streaming service, Max, was likely also hoping that The Idol would be their next cultural touchstone after Succession ended a week earlier.

But so go the best laid plans of mice and network executives. The Idol debuted with less than one million viewers and the show was savaged by the critics with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just of 19 out of 100. The show’s ultimate fate was clear from the outset and HBO made it official yesterday by announcing that The Idol would not return for season two. Despite the bad news, HBO tried to put a brave face on the decision.

“‘The Idol’ was one of HBO’s most provocative original programs, and we’re pleased by the strong audience response,” a network spokesperson said. “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.”

As for the reasons why The Idol failed, let’s allow Rotten Tomatoes chime in with its summary of the critical reviews: “Every bit as florid and sleazy as the industry it seeks to satirize, The Idol places itself on a pedestal with unbridled style but wilts under the spotlight.”

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