HBO’s high-profile drama The Last of Us will be back for a second season. Just two episodes in, the premium cabler said today that it has renewed the video game-based series from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann.
The Last of Us this month scored the second-largest premiere after House of the Dragon since Boardwalk Empire’s launch in 2010.
Episode 1 has surpassed 22 million viewers domestically, up nearly five times from its premiere-night audience on January 15. Episode 2 drew 5.7 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts in the U.S. Sunday night. That’s about a million more than the audience that tuned in for the premiere episode and it marks the largest Week 2 audience growth for any HBO Original drama series. The series also is strong on social media, trending No. 1 both in the U.S. and worldwide on Twitter during its series debut.
“Craig and Neil, alongside EP Carolyn Strauss, and the rest of our phenomenal cast and crew, have defined a genre with their masterful debut season of The Last of Us,” said Francesca Orsi, EVP of HBO Programming, Head of HBO Drama Series and Films. “After pulling off this unforgettable first season, I can’t wait to watch this team outshine themselves again with Season 2.”
Based on Naughty Dog’s award-winning video game, The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
“I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations,” said executive producer Druckmann. “Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”
In addition to Pascal and Ramsey, Season 1 also stars Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker.
“I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey,” said executive producer Mazin. “The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.”
The Last of Us is written and executive produced by Mazin and Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and is executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam. The production companies are PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint and Naughty Dog.
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