Variety has learned that HBO ordered The Idol, a six-episode series co-written and executive produced by The Weeknd. The drama is also co-created by the “Take My Breath” singer, along with Sam Levinson, the mind behind Euphoria.
News of the series surfaced back in June when it was reported that The Weeknd was developing a project about an up-and-coming pop singer who becomes romantically involved with the leader of a secret cult. All six episodes will be directed by Amy Seimetz, who was previously behind the camera for several episodes of the Starz series The Girlfriend Experience and two episodes of Atlanta.
Deadline reported in late September that Lily-Rose Depp had been cast. Suzanna Son (Red Rocket), Steve Zissis, and Troye Sivan have been tapped as series regulars, and will be joined by Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Saved by the Bell), Nico Hiraga (Booksmart), Melanie Liburd (Power Book II: Ghost), Anne Heche, and Tunde Adebimpe of the band TV on the Radio. It’s unclear if The Weeknd, who was initially rumored to star in The Idol, is still part of the cast.
It wouldn’t be his first acting gig. The Weeknd briefly played an younger version of himself in the Adam Sandler-led emotional roller coaster drama Uncut Gems to fit the 2012 setting of the film.
“When the multi-talented Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye, Reza Fahim and Sam Levinson brought us The Idol, it was clear their subversive, revelatory take on the cult of the music industry was unlike anything HBO had ever done before,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said in a statement.