The Weeknd's HBO Show With Euphoria's Creator Is Making Some Big Changes Behind The Scenes

The Weeknd in "Take My Breath" music video
(Image credit: UMG)

The Weeknd has been finding new ways to expand his footprint within the entertainment industry as of late. He’s made a name for himself as a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and record producer, but he’s now entered the worlds of TV and film as an actor, writer and producer. His most recent project is a new music-centric series at HBO, which he’s co-creating and writing with Euphoria boss Sam Levinson. However, it looks like the production is undergoing some major behind-the-scenes changes at the moment.

The upcoming show, called The Idol, is still set to happen, so there’s no need for people to fret on that front. Per THR though, HBO is looking to alter not only the crew but the cast as well. In doing so, the premium cable channel apparently hopes to craft a new creative direction for the production. 

The six-episode series, which was ordered to series back in November 2021, is set to tackle the Los Angeles music scene. The drama will chronicle the tumultuous relationship between a rising pop star and a self-help guru, who also just happens to be a cult leader. Suzanna Son, Troye Sivan, Lily-Rose Depp and Steve Zissis have been tapped as series regulars, with a number of recurring roles also filled. It’s currently unclear as to who might be recast. The trade reports that the show has already been in production, so certain scenes will need to be reshot. The network acknowledged the changes in a statement shared with THR:

The Idol’s creative team continues to build, refine, and evolve their vision for the show and they have aligned on a new creative direction. The production will be adjusting its cast and crew accordingly to best serve this new approach to the series. We look forward to sharing more information soon.

The Weeknd (whose birth name is Abel Tesfaye) and Sam Levinson are an interesting creative combination, but it’s a smart fit for this particular creative venture. The rapper, who’s even worked on American Dad! at this point, obviously knows his fair share about the music industry and can provide a unique perspective. Levinson, based on what he’s one with Euphoria (streamable with an HBO Max subscription), can create the appropriately glamorous and dark atmosphere necessary for a story like this. It’s also probably a given that it'll be just as raw as the Zendaya-led drama. I wouldn’t be surprised if it features a few nude penises and drug use (which could draw the ire of D.A.R.E.)

With the success that Sam Levinson has had with his current series, I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to replicate it for this new production. Its premise suggests that it’s going to be a truly trippy (and possibly emotionally exhausting) piece of work. And honestly, I’d expect nothing less from the man behind “Blinding Lights.”

A release window has yet to be announced for The Idol but, in the meantime check out some of the best HBO Max shows and take a look at CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for info on new and returning shows.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.