Originally announced as six episodes, The Weeknd confirmed this week that the season will end after five installments.
The Idol will end one week earlier than originally announced, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye confirmed Monday. Originally billed as six episodes, the controversial Max show will now end after five installments.
Co-creator Tesfaye tweeted the news, writing that the show has "one more episode," set to air this Sunday.
The Idol stars Tesfaye as Tedros, a charismatic cult leader/self-help guru who discovers Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), an up-and-coming pop singer, and will stop at nothing to make her famous.
Controversy surrounding the show and its production first surfaced several months before the first episode's premiere, when sources told Rolling Stone that the project had gone "wildly, disgustingly off the rails." Vulture recently referred to the third episode as "bizarrely edited" and "hackily written."
Tesfaye said he expected all of this criticism, but was not fazed by it.
"It's almost educational, that this is what comes with being incredibly famous," Tesfaye told Variety of his show's treatment of fame. "You're surrounded by people who you're not sure what their true intentions are, even if it seems like they're good. You just never know. But of course, I've been very fortunate to have people around me that I've known almost my entire life, which is important, and is a gift."
The quotes are not the first time Tesfaye has defended his show. Last week, he told GQ that viewers are supposed to see Tedros as a bad person, something that he said comes across on-screen and even in the sex scenes.
"You look at him, and this is a score -- Jocelyn might be the biggest score he's ever had. It's very obvious. He's over-indulging, he walks into this house looking around like, 'Goddamn, am I way over my head? This can be the biggest job I've ever done. Whatever it is that he's doing," he explained. "Even the sex, it's so gluttonous. Especially in episode 2. 'Gluttony' is the only word I can think of [to describe it]. He can't believe he’s there. He comes off like such a loser. Those moments are the humanity that you find in a psychopath, the chink in his armor."
Previously, Tesfaye told Vanity Fair he thought the Rolling Stone article "was ridiculous," adding, "I wanted to give a ridiculous response to it."
At the time the allegations were first published, the musician responded by sharing a clip from the show in which his character deems Rolling Stone "irrelevant."
Depp has also praised the show and Levinson's creativity, telling ET, "Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with. Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued. Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way - it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it. He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard, and appreciated."