‘The Idol’ Is Ending a Week Early and Won’t Air 6 Episodes As Expected

the idol episode release schedule
‘The Idol’ Is Ending Earlier Than ExpectedHBO
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When the last season of Euphoria ended, we were left with a Zendaya-shaped hole in our hearts. And while we won’t be getting her back on the silver screen for a minute, in the interim Euphoria creator Sam Levinson kicked off a controversial new Max show: The Idol.

The Idol is about a pop star named Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp) who tries to reinvent her image with some help from an extremely questionable (and kinda cult-y) self-help guru, played by Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. If you were surprised to see The Weeknd starring in a TV show, then join the club! He and Lily-Rose are also joined by Jennie Kim, Troye Sivan, Rachel Sennott, Dan Levy, Hari Nef, and Jane Adams.

If that’s enough to entice you to watch, here’s how to catch the rest of the season...which TV Line reports just went from short to shorter.

Wait, how many episodes of The Idol are there?

Originally, all reports said The Idol would have a six-episode run, but TV Line broke the news on June 26—right between episodes 4 and 5—that the season will actually end with episode 5.

Why is episode 5 the new finale? Well, “the season ended up being five episodes when it was all said and done after Sam [Levinson] took over and made significant changes,” a source told the outlet. “The story only ended up requiring five.”

In addition to the number of episodes changing mid-season, the episode titles have *also* changed. Originally, these were the last three episode names:

  • Episode 4: “Used and Abused,” June 25, 2023

  • Episode 5: “Tight Girl,” July 2, 2023

  • Episode 6: “Tedros Comes,” July 9, 2023

But this is where they stand now:

  • Episode 4: “Stars Belong to the World,” June 25, 2023

  • Episode 5: “Jocelyn Forever,” July 2, 2023

Quite a tonal difference, don’t you think?

When does the next episode of The Idol drop?

The Idol is an HBO exclusive, so you’re going to need a subscription (or a friend who can share theirs). The show drops episodes during a prime Sunday night time slot (you know, the one previously held by Succession, The White Lotus, and House of the Dragon), so you can tune in at 9 p.m. ET sharp.

If you’re not into watching shows live, the episodes will also be available to stream on Max starting at 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Here’s the full release schedule for The Idol

The Idol has just six five episodes, and here’s when you can expect them to drop:

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Will there be a season 2 of The Idol?

Whether there’s a second season remains to be seen, given the full series hasn’t aired yet, although it’s worth noting that the reviews have been brutal. The elephant in the room is the show’s alleged toxic set as reported by Rolling Stone, to which The Weeknd responded, “I thought the article was ridiculous.”

Critics and audiences don’t always have the same reaction to a show, so season 2 may depend on how The Idol does ratings-wise…and whether the actors would be interesting in coming back. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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