November 29, 2023

How Did The Controversial HBO Drama Perform At Launch? – Deadline


Will Sam Levinson have another HBO success on his hands with The Idol?

The series premiered Sunday night to 913,000 total viewers across Max and linear HBO telecasts, according to HBO. This is a fairly promising debut for The Idol, and viewership for the premiere is likely to grow in the next week as conversation about the somewhat controversial series continues ahead of Episode 2.

HBO says that new episodes of a series tend to draw 10-20% of their total viewership on Sunday nights, indicating that The Idol will probably average several million viewers, at least for the first episode.

That being said, the series starring Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp didn’t quite match premiere viewership for Levinson’s first HBO hit, Euphoria. That series took home 1.1M viewers on its premiere night in 2019, with a bit of a lead in from a Season 2 episode of Big Little Lies. By the end of Season 1, the average episodic audience was 6.6M for Euphoria.

However, premiere audiences don’t necessarily dictate the audience that a season will end its run with. For example, The White Lotus series premiered in 2021 to 944,000 total viewers. The season averaged about 1.1M viewers on premiere night, and episodes grew to about 9.3M average viewers when all was said and done.

Last year, Winning Time raked in 901,000 total viewers for its first episode. Season 1 went on to average 1.2M premiere night viewers, which grew to a total episodic average of 6M.

In the next few weeks, it will start to become clearer where The Idol will fall.

Co-created by Sam Levinson, Tesfaye and Reza Fahim, in The Idol, after a nervous breakdown derailed Jocelyn’s (Depp) last tour, she’s determined to claim her rightful status as the greatest and sexiest pop star in America. Her passions are reignited by Tedros (Tesfaye), a nightclub impresario with a sordid past. Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?

Troye Sivan also stars along with 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.

Levinson, Tesfaye and Fahim executive produce with Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, Joseph Epstein, Aaron L. Gilbert for Bron, and Sara E. White. Levinson also directs. The series is produced in partnership with A24.

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