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The Idol, a drama starring and co-created by the Grammy-winning artist, has landed a series order at the premium cable outlet. The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) created the series with his producing partner, Reza Fahim, and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.
Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience, Atlanta) is set to direct all six episodes of the show, which also stars Lily-Rose Depp. The Idol has also rounded out its cast with Suzanna Son, Melanie Liburd, Tunde Adebimpe, Steve Zissis, Troye Sivan, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Nico Hiraga and Anne Heche.
“When the multitalented 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,” said HBO programming executive vp Francesca Orsi. “Shortly after, the brilliant duo of Joe Epstein and Amy Seimetz joined forces with the rest of the team, and this dream became a reality.”
In development since the summer, The Idol is set against the backdrop of the music industry in Los Angeles. It centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop singer. Details on the other castmembers’ roles are being kept under wraps; Son, Sivan and Zissis will be series regulars, while Liburd, Adebimpe, Lauren, Hiraga and Heche have recurring parts.
In addition to his multiplatimum-selling music career, The Weeknd previously co-wrote and did voice work on a 2020 episode of TBS’ American Dad. He also appeared in Uncut Gems.
Levinson, Tesfaye and Fahim will write and executive produce with Epstein. Seimetz also executive produces along with Kevin Turen, Aaron Gilbert for BRON, Ashley Levinson, Nick Hall, Sara E. White and A24.
Seimetz is repped by CAA, Fusion Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham; Son by Grandview and Jackoway Austen; Liburd by Identity Agency Group, UTA, R&CPMK and Felker Toczek; Adebimpe by WME, MGMT Entertainment and Hertz Lichtenstein; Zissis by Artists First, A3 Artists Agency and Ziffren Brittenham; Sivan by CAA and Full Stop Management; Lauren by Untitled Entertainment and Sloane Offer; Hiraga by Wonder Street, WME and Myman Greenspan; Heche by Zero Gravity Management and APA; and The Weeknd and Fahim by attorneys Kenny Meiselas and Peter Grant of Grubman Shire.
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