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The much-awaited premiere of ‘The Idol’ has finally aired, but it seems to have failed in its attempt to replicate the massive ratings success of ‘Euphoria’. Despite generating a considerable amount of buzz leading up to its release, ‘The Idol’ opened to a modest viewership, leaving many fans and industry experts wondering what went wrong. With a talented cast, intriguing storyline, and promising reviews, everyone had high expectations for this new show – but it appears that it may have fallen short of the hype. So, what exactly happened? Let’s take a deeper look at the show’s premiere ratings and try to make sense of the numbers.
Controversy hasn’t exactly made The Idol the show of the summer yet as Sam Levinson initially predicted. The Euphoria creator and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye‘s new series failed to crack the one million viewer mark between HBO and Max with its premiere, falling short with only 913,000 televisions tuning in per Nielsen data and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max viewership data. Though not as earth-shattering as one might expect with so much buzz around the show, it’s still in line with most other recent premieres on the network.
Compared to Levinson’s other big hit series which drew 1.1 million viewers with its 2019 premiere, The Idol‘s ratings seem rather modest. It lives more or less in the same realm as series like Winning Time and The White Lotus at 901,000 and 944,000 premiere night viewers respectively. Neither had quite the hype nor the controversy surrounding them, but there are still plenty of reasons for the creators to still be pleased with the premiere. The Idol didn’t have the same advantageous position as Euphoria did at the time of its premiere, instead having no real lead in and directly competing with the NBA Finals. Moreover, HBO’s shows enjoy but a fraction of their viewership on premiere night. The White Lotus eventually averaged 9.3 million viewers per episode by the time it reached its season finale, turning it into one of television’s biggest series.
That said, The Idol is not getting the sparkling attention that The White Lotus or Succession, which the new series is replacing in that Sunday time slot, did. From the moment Levinson took the reins and director Amy Seimetz departed, the project was dogged with stories of a toxic work environment and fears that the focus had shifted to a more degrading and offensive premise, all of which the team behind the series vehemently denied. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, things didn’t get much better as attendees panned the series during its world premiere with Collider’s own Therese Lacson giving it a D in her review, calling the first two episodes “sex-obsessed, shallow, and oftentimes painfully predictable.” It might be hard to build momentum with negative reviews flying left and right, especially as the audience score currently only sits at 63%.
What Is The Idol About?
The Idol hails from the trio of Levinson, Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim and follows the rising pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) whose career goes off the rails following a nervous breakdown. Determined to soar back to the top of the music industry, she gets involved with slimy nightclub owner Tedros (Tesfaye), sparking a toxic relationship of sex, drugs, greed, and manipulation that looks primed to destroy them both. Filled with all the glitz and glamor of pop stardom with the insidiousness of new age cults and plenty of sleaze, it’s all part of Levinson’s vision which he swears still hasn’t gone too far. It all comes with a stacked supporting cast including the first role for Blackpink‘s Jennie Kim alongside Hank Azaria, Dan Levy, Rachel Sennott,Jane Adams, Da’Vine Joy Randolph,Moses Sumney,Eli Roth, Hari Nef, and Troye Sivan.
New episodes of The Idol air every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the trailer below.
In conclusion, while the premiere of ‘The Idol’ may have fallen short in terms of viewership ratings, it must be noted that it is still a new and untested show. It is not uncommon for a show’s ratings to start off slow and gradually increase as viewers become more invested in the story and characters. Furthermore, it is unfair to compare ‘The Idol’ to the highly successful and popular debut of ‘Euphoria’. Each show has its own unique premise, target audience, and marketing strategies. Only time will tell if ‘The Idol’ will gain traction and attract a larger viewership, but it is important to give it a chance and acknowledge the efforts of the cast and crew in creating a new and exciting show.
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