HBO’s ‘The Idol’ Premieres to 913,000 Viewers, Down 17% From ‘Euphoria’ Series Launch

HBO said “Hello, angel” to 913,000 viewers when it aired the series premiere of “The Idol” on Sunday night.

Provided by Warner Bros. Discovery, that number points to Nielsen’s measurement of linear viewers on HBO’s cable channel combined with WBD’s own data regarding streams on Max.

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For context, “Euphoria” (created by Sam Levinson, who is co-creator of “The Idol”) drew 1.1 million viewers when it premiered in 2019. (Max had not yet launched, meaning viewers were counted across HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now.) Levinson’s second HBO outing is therefore 17% behind his first. The trajectory of “Euphoria” Season 1 viewership was mostly flat, peaking with 1.2 million viewers of the finale, meaning that “The Idol” could still manage to beat out “Euphoria’s” early performance if its audience continue to grow. But there’s only one month left to achieve that, as the drama’s first season will run for a short five episodes.

It’s additionally notable that “Euphoria” had the benefit of premiering directly after an episode of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” that got 2.3 million viewers, while “The Idol” was released in competition with Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals.

“The Idol’s” viewership is relatively even with other recent HBO projects not based on major IP: “The White Lotus” saw 944,000 premiere viewers in 2021, while “Winning Time” got 901,000 in 2022.

From Levinson alongside Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, “The Idol” follows Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), who is working to reclaim her pop star status after a nervous breakdown when she gets wrapped up into a connection with Tedros (Tesfaye), a nightclub impresario with a dark past.

The first two episodes of “The Idol” were screened at the Cannes Film Festival, where Levinson said that reports of a toxic set made him realize “The Idol” would be “the biggest show of the summer.”

“The Idol” was produced in partnership with A24. Executive producers include Levinson, Tesfaye, Rahim, Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, Joe Epstein, Sarah E. White and Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert. Alongside Depp and Tesfaye, the cast includes Troye Sivan, Dan Levy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Eli Roth, Hari Nef, Jane Adams, Jennie Ruby Jane, Mike Dean, Moses Sumney, Rachel Sennott, Ramsey, Suzanna Son and Hank Azaria. All five episodes are directed by Levinson.

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