When is ‘The Idol’ ending? Yes, there’s controversy around that, too

Here's what's really going on with Jocelyn and Tedros' fate

When is The Idol ending? Pictured: Lily-Rose Depp HBO The Idol Season 1 - Episode 3
(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

Time is ticking for Jocelyn, and The Idol ending will arrive sooner than viewers had initially expected. 

From the production process to the show's raunchy material, The Idol controversy was alive and well before the fictional pop star (played by Lily-Rose Depp) even arrived on screens. So, what can we expect from this seemingly abrupt The Idol finale—and, more pressingly, when? We'll give you the scoop. 

Is 'The Idol' ending early? 

Originally, The Idol episodes were set to run through Sunday, July 9. However, in a surprise to those following along with the whirlwind journey, everything will come to a close a week earlier on Sunday, July 2. The six-episode series was seemingly just chopped down to five, confusing viewers about the story's direction.

Why is 'The Idol' ending early? 

Fans suspect that the show is coming to a close early because of the backlash it has received since its start. Some say this news shouldn't come as a surprise, given all of the reshooting that needed to be done when Sam Levinson took over as director. Naturally, it didn't take long for people to share their commentary on Twitter. 

However, the negativity isn't the reason the show's final hoorah is on July 2. Even though The Idol received a six-episode order in November 2021, according to BuzzFeed, things changed by the time Jocelyn and Tedros (played by The Weeknd) actually arrived on HBO. When the series hit the Cannes Film Festival earlier in 2023, it was considered a five-episode run. 

Additionally, The Weeknd deemed it a "five-hour film" when speaking to GQ. He added: "It’s definitely shaken up the culture for sure. We knew we were making something dark and controversial but true to what we want to say."

Fans react to 'The Idol' ending 'early': 

What can we expect during 'The Idol' finale?

HBO is obviously mum on specifics, but it looks like things might be getting increasingly challenging for Jocelyn, as her single "World Class Sinner" will be going to her friend and peer, Dyanne (Jennie Kim). Additionally, the untitled episode is believed to focus on the shift in Jocelyn's relationship with Tedros as she begins to take more control.

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Will there be a season 2 of 'The Idol'?

Before the ending controversy came to light, viewers were asking: "Is The Idol cancelled already?" The possibility of a second season is up in the air, but fans suspected it was a no-go when Page Six reported on June 15 that The Idol would not be returning for round two.  

However, another source at the time noted to the outlet: “The door is definitely still open—it’s definitely not a decision [yet]. At this point, this is normal in our process…we’re only two episodes in.” 

The door is definitely still open, and no one is quite sure what direction this will go. We'll have to wait until we get the good word from HBO, but should the series continue, fans believe that Jennie Kim's Dyanne and Depp's Jocelyn should be fleshed out more, rather than focus on Tedros. (Given how well fans resonate with her, perhaps that's not a bad idea...)

Catch The Idol finale on Sunday, July 2 at 9pm Eastern on HBO and Max. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.