The videogame adaptation, starring Pedro Pascal, drew 4.7M viewers across linear and HBO Max. It marked the largest debut after House of the Dragon since Boardwalk Empire launched in 2010.
The Game of Thrones spinoff made history last year by premiering with 9.986M viewers across linear and HBO Max – the largest audience for any new original series in the history of pay cabler.
Period drama Boardwalk Empire, which starred Steve Buscemi, launched in 2010 with 4.81M viewers tuning in to its premiere on its linear network.
The premiere numbers were nearly double the season two debut night for Euphoria, which recorded 2.4M last January. That series went on to average 19.5M viewers per episode in the U.S.
HBO said that Sunday night viewership typically represents 20%-40% of the show’s total gross audience per episode.
The series, which is based on the PlayStation game, takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal journey as they both must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival.
It stars Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman as well as Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker.
The Last Of Us is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. It is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television along with PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog. Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam also exec produce.
“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and game alike experience this iconic story in a new way, and we extend our gratitude to them for helping to make it a success,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO & HBO Max Content. “Congratulations to Craig, Neil and the brilliant cast and crew who worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. We look forward to fans around the world enjoying the rest of the season.”
“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” said Mazin and Druckmann. “We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The Last of Us into their homes and their hearts.”
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