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The Idol (TV series)

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The Idol
Created by
Directed bySam Levinson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
  • Abel Tesfaye
  • Reza Fahim
  • Sam Levinson
  • Joseph Epstein
  • Ashley Levinson
  • Aaron L. Gilbert
  • Nick Hall
  • Keily Amaya
Production locationsLos Angeles, California
Production companies
Original networkHBO
Original release2022 (2022)[1]

The Idol is an upcoming American drama television series created by Abel "the Weeknd" Tesfaye, Reza Fahim, and Sam Levinson for HBO. Set against the backdrop of the music industry, the series will focus on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who enters into a complicated relationship with a rising pop idol.[2] Lily-Rose Depp and Tesfaye are set to star in the leading roles, with Troye Sivan, Debby Ryan, Rachel Sennott, Jennie Kim, Steve Zissis, Hari Nef, and Juliebeth Gonzalez appearing as supporting characters.[3][4]

Cast and characters





On June 29, 2021, Abel "the Weeknd" Tesfaye announced that he would be creating, executive producing and co-writing a drama series for HBO alongside Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson.[5] On the same day, Ashley Levinson and Joseph Epstein were announced as executive producers for the series, with Epstein also serving as a writer and the series' showrunner. Mary Laws was also announced as a writer and will serve as a co-executive producer, alongside Tesfaye's co-manager Wassim Slaiby and his creative director La Mar Taylor.[6]

On November 22, 2021, HBO gave the production a series order for a first season consisting of six episodes. Alongside the series order, Amy Seimetz revealed that she will direct all six episodes.[3] On January 14, 2022, Deadline Hollywood reported that Nick Hall had joined the production as an executive producer, following his move to A24 to oversee creative for the company's television slate.[7] On April 25, 2022, Variety reported that Seimetz had left the project, citing sources who stated that multiple episodes had already been filmed but that these would be reshot by Sam Levinson assuming her role as the series' director as the series changes its creative direction.[8][9]


In the initial announcement, Tesfaye revealed that he would be starring in the series.[10] On September 29, 2021, Lily-Rose Depp revealed that she would be starring opposite Tesfaye.[11] On November 22, Suzanna Son, Steve Zissis, and Troye Sivan joined the main cast, while Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Elizabeth Berkley, Nico Hiraga and Anne Heche joined the cast as recurring characters.[12] On December 2, Juliebeth Gonzalez was cast as a series regular, while Maya Eshet, Tyson Ritter, Kate Lyn Sheil, Liz Caribel Sierra and Finley Rose Slater were cast in recurring roles.[13] On April 27, 2022, it was announced that Son had left the cast amid a creative overhaul of the series. She was replaced by Debby Ryan.[14] In July, Rachel Sennott, Hari Nef, and Jennie Kim joined the cast.[15][16][17]


Principal photography began in November 2021 in and around Los Angeles, California.[18] Production was temporarily paused in April 2022 due to Tesfaye co-headlining the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[19] On April 25, Variety reported that the show would be reworked and would undergo significant reshoots with changes to its cast and crew due to a change in creative directions.[8] Production was officially completed in July 2022, just as Tesfaye was embarking on the After Hours til Dawn Tour.[20][21]


  1. ^ Aswad, Jem (June 30, 2022). "The Weeknd Unveils Opening Acts for Stadium Tour, Team Reveals Details About 'Conceptual' Show (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  2. ^ Nemetz, Dave (June 29, 2021). "The Weeknd to Star in, Co-Create HBO Cult Drama From Euphoria Creator". TVLine. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (November 22, 2021). "The Weeknd's HBO Series 'The Idol' Gets Greenlight, Adds Eight to Cast Including Troye Sivan and Anne Heche". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  4. ^ Zemler, Emily (November 24, 2021). "The Weeknd's HBO Series 'The Idol' Casts Troye Sivan, Tunde Adebimpe". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  5. ^ White, Peter (June 29, 2021). "The Weeknd To Star In & Write Pop Singer Cult Drama Series 'The Idol' With Sam Levinson In The Works At HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 29, 2021). "The Weeknd to Star in, Co-Write Cult Series in the Works at HBO With 'Euphoria' Creator". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 14, 2022). "Nick Hall Joins A24 To Oversee Creative For TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Hailu, Selome (April 25, 2022). "The Weeknd's HBO Drama Series 'The Idol' to Undergo Significant Reshoots". Variety. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  9. ^ White, Peter (April 26, 2022). "'The Idol': Director Amy Seimetz Exits Amid Overhaul Of HBO Drama Series". Deadline Hollywod. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  10. ^ Mamo, Heran (June 29, 2021). "The Weeknd to Star In & Co-Write New HBO Series With 'Euphoria' Creator". Billboard. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 29, 2021). "Lily-Rose Depp Joins The Weeknd In 'The Idol' Drama Series In Works At HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Weeknd's HBO Series The Idol Casts Troye Sivan and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe". Pitchfork. November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (December 2, 2021). "'The Idol': HBO's Music Industry Drama Series Adds Six To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  14. ^ White, Peter (April 27, 2022). "'The Idol': Suzanna Son Not Returning To HBO Drama Series Amid Creative Overhaul". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  15. ^ Jacob, Lola (July 7, 2022). "Rachel Sennott joins the cast of 'The Idol' starring The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp". Coup De Main Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  16. ^ Hess, Liam (July 6, 2022). "Hari Nef Is Having a Moment in the Hair Color of the Season". Vogue. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (July 20, 2022). "Blackpink's Jennie Joins The Weeknd's 'The Idol' HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  18. ^ Holmes, Martin. "HBO Picks Up The Weeknd's Drama 'The Idol' For Full Series, Adds 8 To Cast". TV Insider. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  19. ^ "Inside the Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia's very last-minute Coachella collab". Los Angeles Times. April 14, 2022. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  20. ^ "'So humbling and incredible': The Weeknd talks about his journey from Scarborough to world stages". July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 17, 2022. he was expecting to immediately jump on a plane to wrap filming in L.A in the six days between his Toronto and Philadelphia gigs.
  21. ^ The Idol Updates [@theidolupdates] (July 17, 2022). "Troye Sivan, Lily-Rose Depp, and Rachel Sennott at The Idol's wrap party tonight" (Tweet). Retrieved July 17, 2022 – via Twitter.

External links

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