Debut of ‘The Idol’ Underwhelms in Comparison to That of ‘Euphoria’

According to Nielsen’s survey of linear viewers on HBO’s cable channel combined with Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming statistics on Max, HBO’s new series The Idol premiered to an audience of 913,000 people.

In comparison, the 2019 premiere of Euphoria, developed by Sam Levinson, co-creator of The Idol, got 1.1 million viewers. This means The Idol is trailing Levinson’s last show by 17%.

However, Euphoria’s viewership remained relatively stable throughout its first season, peaking at 1.2 million viewers for the season finale.

If The Idol continues to build its viewership, it could top Euphoria’s early performance, but with only one month left in its brief five-episode season, time is running out.

It’s worth noting that Euphoria benefited from airing after a Big Little Lies episode that drew 2.3 million views, whereas The Idol was up against Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals.

The Idol has similar viewership ratings to shows like The White Lotus (944,000 premiere viewers in 2021) and “Winning Time” (901,000 premiere viewers in 2022).

Sam Levinson’s The Idol, co-created with Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and Reza Fahim, follows Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), a former pop singer attempting to recapture her stardom after a nervous breakdown.

Tedros (Tesfaye), a nightclub mogul with a strange past, crosses her path. The show’s first two episodes were shown at the Cannes Film Festival, where Levinson stated that despite rumors of a toxic set, The Idol would be the biggest show of the summer.

Troye Sivan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Eli Roth, Hari Nef, Dan Levy, Jane Adams, Moses Sumney, Rachel Sennott, Ramsey, Jennie Ruby Jane, Mike Dean, Suzanna Son, and Hank Azaria are among the cast members. Sam Levinson directed all five episodes.