The Weeknd is set to star in and co-write a cult drama series for HBO titled The Idol.
News of the series, which will follow a female pop singer who sparks a romance with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who doubles as a leader of a secret cult, was first reported by Variety on Tuesday, June 29.
The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) will co-write and executive produce The Idol alongside his creative producer and renowned L.A. nightlife entrepreneur Reza Fahim and BAFTA Award-winning Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, all three of whom are creators of the show. Joseph Epstein will serve as showrunner while joining Mary Laws on the team of co-writers and -executive producers.
The Grammy-winning superstar, found himself in the writer’s room of the TBS animated comedy American Dad in May 2020 alongside Robot Chicken writer Joel Hurwitz. The May 4-dated episode, ‘A Starboy Is Born’ also featured a new spoof song, “I’m a Virgin,” which The Weeknd co-wrote with Electric Guest’s Asa Taccone.
The “Blinding Lights” singer previously starred in the Safdie Brothers’ critically acclaimed 2019 film Uncut Gums.
Levinson – whose series Euphoria earned multiple Emmy nominations, including a groundbreaking outstanding lead actress in a drama series win for Zendaya — will executive produce The Idol via his Little Lamb Productions company with its co-founders Ashley Levinson and Kevin Turen. Aaron L. Gilbert will executive produce via Bron Studios. Wassim “Sal” Slaiby and La Mar C. Taylor, two key members from The Weeknd’s XO brain trust, are also credited as executive producers.
Earlier this month, Republic Records won the 2021 Clio Music Award for best integrated campaign for its album campaign for The Weeknd’s After Hours. Republic also won label of the year at the inaugural Clio Music of the Year Awards.
Clio Music Awards recognize excellence in creative work for the marketing or promotion of an artist, label, music brand, product or service, as well as the use of music in advertising. Five Clio juries reviewed submissions across 26 mediums and awarded 10 Grand Clio Music trophies as well as an array of gold, silver and bronze statues for a total of 240 awards.