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The Weeknd's HBO 'Torture Porn' Series 'The Idol' Will End After 5 Episodes

hbo idol
Source: HBO

Jun. 26 2023, Published 7:13 p.m. ET

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HBO's The Idol, the controversial series from The Weeknd and Sam Levinson, will end after episode 5 airs this weekend despite originally being announced as a 6-part series, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The show, starring Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd, has been trashed by critics and those who tuned in.

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hbo idol
Source: HBO

Since production, The Idol faced backlash from viewers. Original director Amy Seimetz left the series mid-production after butting heads with Tesfaye on the show's creative direction.

Levinson joined the production following Seimetz's exit, but fans refused to support the controversial director's work, which they branded "torture porn."

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Source: HBO
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Seimetz's scathing take on the direction she saw the show heading under Tasfaye and Levinson's creative control led to calls for boycotts ahead of its release. With Levinson at the helm of direction, The Idol saw dismal ratings since its premiere.

Last Sunday's episode saw only 133,000 viewers.

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A source tells RadarOnline.com that while the show was planned for 6 episodes originally, the episode count was dropped to 5 once Levinson took over for Seimetz. We're told this was always the vision for Levinson's version.

The controversial director developed a reputation for an abundance of nudity and often sadistic scenes in his work — and The Idol was no different.

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Last week's episode shocked viewers who could stomach the previous four episodes. The character Xander, played by Troy Sivan, was subjected to a sick sexual act by The Weeknd's character, Tedros.

Viewers were appalled after watching Sivan be tortured with a shock collar controlled by Tesfaye, who then forced his assistant to give Xander a sponge bath while he was bound.

As if the scene was not shocking enough, Levinson's direction then called for Xander to be flipped onto his stomach, leaving viewers only with a disturbing image and their imagination to connect the dots.

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