HBO’s provocative new drama series Euphoria, starring Zendaya, which had gotten a lot of pre-launch publicity over the controversy surrounding its graphic depiction of teen sex and drug use, made its debut last night. The show’s premiere 10 PM airing on the linear network averaged 577,000 viewers.
That number almost doubled to 1 million viewers premiere night viewership with one linear replay and preliminary viewing on HBO GO/NOW. Its lead-in, Big Little Lies, drew1.5 million viewers at 9 PM and 2 million for the night.
HBO does not release streaming numbers, but Euphoria drew the largest premiere audience for a scripted regular series on HBO NOW since Westworld. With its high school setting and teen life-centered stories, Euphoria is expected to be one of HBO’s youngest-skewing series ever, with digital viewing as its main ratings driver.
The series, which has been well received by critics, got a lot of attention on social media. On Twitter, #EuphoriaHBO trended #1 in the United States shortly after the premiere episode aired and #3 Worldwide on the platform. Euphoria drove over 153K mentions on Twitter in the first 12 hours since last night’s east coast premiere, outpacing conversation for the Season 2 premiere of Big Little Lies (109K mentions).
Zendaya started the social media discussion of the premiere earlier in the day yesterday when she took to Instagram and Twitter to give a warning to audiences about the series:
“Just a reminder before tonight’s premiere, that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” Zendaya wrote. “It’s raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety and the difficulties of navigating life today. There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch and can be triggering. Please only watch if you feel you can handle it. Do what’s best for you. I will still love you and feel your support. Love, Daya.”
Euphoria, which is based on the Israeli series from HOT, follows a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship. The series also stars Storm Reid, Maude Apatow, Algee Smith, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Hunter Schafer and Sydney Sweeney.