The premiere of The idol didn’t draw a huge audience for HBO Sunday – but it did fall in line with some other recent series debuts on the premium cable outlet.
The idol, which sparked controversy with provocative trailers and received mostly negative reviews, drew 913,000 viewers on HBO (for the premiere and three reruns) and Max on Sunday – most of which probably came via streaming on Max. (Final numbers for the show’s premiere are due Tuesday.)
The 913,000 viewers is a big step down compared to the first night figures of the last season of Successionwhich immediately preceded The idol in HBO’s 9 p.m. Sunday spot. However, it’s about on par with a handful of other recent HBO drama debuts, including winning time (901,000 viewers) and season one of The White Lotus (944,000). Euphoriaby The idol co-creator Sam Levinson, opened to 1.1 million viewers in 2019.
If recent patterns hold, The idol’The audience will grow several times over the course of the season (HBO measures seasonal averages for 90 days after a show’s premiere). winning time ended at 6 million viewers per episode for the first season, and Euphoria an average of 6.6 million. The White Lotuswhich built up throughout the run, ended the first season with an average of 9.3 million viewers per episode.
The idol stars Lily-Rose Depp as a pop star seeking a comeback and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye (who is also a co-creator) as a nightclub owner who brings Depp’s character under his rule. Levinson, Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim created the series, which was extensively recast and reshot midway through production (as well as leading to reports of a chaotic on-set environment, which HBO and the clients denied). Levinson, Tesfaye and Fahim produce with Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, Joe Epstein, Aaron L. Gilbert for BRON and Sara E. White.