HBO canceled “The Idol,” this week, marking one other big swing and a miss for TV.
The series — hailing from Sam Levinson of “Euphoria,” fame and starring Lily-Rose Depp and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye — followed a troubled pop princess (Depp) and her relationship with a sleazy nightclub owner and cult leader (Tesfaye).
Critics and audiences alike slammed the show for being “nasty,” and overly salacious, while behind-the-scenes reports pointed to a troubled production.
“The Idol” is removed from the primary high-profile buzzy show that crashed and burned. Here’s a take a look at some others.
The one-season 2011 Fox series had obvious ambitions to be the following “Lost.” It had big names attached — executive-produced by Steven Spielberg! – and a high-concept sci-fi plot, following James Shannon (Jason O’Mara) and his family as they fled their dystopian present-day reality to ascertain a colony 85 million years into Earths’ past (because of this there have been dinosaurs). One scathing review derided the show as, “Stargate” by means of “Dr. Seuss.” The premiere reportedly cost $14 million. Neither that price tag nor the prestige of Spielberg’s name was enough to avoid wasting “Terra Nova.”
The one-season Showtime dramedy gave the impression of a recipe for achievement — a show set within the music world created by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”). Starring Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino, it followed the lives of the road crew for a touring rock band. Reviews were mixed, nonetheless, and audiences were dismal, with just 500,000 viewers tuning into the finale. It was Crowe’s first show, demonstrating that not all filmmakers’ skills translate well to TV.
“The Idol” isn’t HBO’s biggest flop set within the music industry. “Vinyl” was a one-season series that aired in 2016. It boasted Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese amongst its creators, and its premiere reportedly cost $30 million. Set in Nineteen Seventies Latest York, it followed Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), a record exec married to former Andy Warhol factory girl Devon (Olivia Wilde) and attempting to navigate the transition from the era of “sex drugs, and rock and roll” into the disco era.
Unfortunately, the show was too much of every thing: too cocaine-fueled, an excessive amount of yelling and loud emotions and rock ‘n’ roll cliches, too self-serious. HBO initially renewed it for a Season 2, but pulled the plug after low rankings (the premiere drew in only 764,000 viewers) and mixed reviews. Even a splashy roster of huge names isn’t all the time enough to avoid wasting a show.
This one-season 2011 ABC show was attempting to ride the “Mad Men” wave: a period-piece following airline pilots and stewardesses within the ’60s. It boasted an all star solid featuring Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie (pre-fame) and David Harbour (pre- “Stranger Things”). It was slick and classy, but critics slammed the writing, with one memorable review calling the scripts, “as inert and useless as a grounded jet.” Even the combined star-power of Robbie and Harbour couldn’t save this show. Possibly the world wasn’t ready for them, yet.
This one-season 2017 NBC series was a dark, gritty rendition of “The Wizard of Oz” that attempted to interpret the famous tale by means of “Game of Thrones.” It followed an adult version of Dorothy (Adria Arjona) through her travels, which included a land stuffed with drugs and murder; Dorothy getting waterboarded; flying monkeys as drones; Toto being a German Shepherd (a terrier apparently wasn’t dark and gritty enough), and he scarecrow (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, gamely attempting to elevate this mess) affected by amnesia. The munchkins, meanwhile, were an Indigenous-esque tribe. All of it felt prefer it was trying way too hard to be “hardcore.”
Apparently, the general public felt that way, too.