HBO’s The Last of Us continues to be a huge hit for the pay cable network, with Sunday night’s penultimate episode of Season 1 hitting a new series peak for same-day viewers.
The hit series drew 8.1 million viewers for Sunday night’s new episode, titled When We Are In Need, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The 8.1 million viewers on the same day represent a whopping 74% more than the premiere of the series that aired on January 15, which was watched by 4.7 million viewers.
The premiere was the second most-watched premiere in over a decade, after Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon (5.7 million viewers).
HBO also revealed that the first five episodes of the series – based on the 2013 video game of the same name – are “approaching” an average of 30 million viewers per episode on HBO Max and other on-demand viewing options.
Series high: HBO’s The Last of Us continues to be a huge hit for the pay cable network, with Sunday night’s penultimate episode of season 1 hitting a new series high for same-day viewers
Viewers: The hit series drew 8.1 million viewers for Sunday night’s new episode, titled When We Are In Need, according to The Hollywood Reporter
If those numbers hold for the rest of the season, it would surpass the 29 million viewer-per-episode average for HBO’s House of the Dragon.
Viewership for the first four episodes of The Last of Us continued to climb, with the second episode reaching 5.7 million viewers, the largest increase between a premiere and a second episode in HBO history, leading to a season extension 2.
The third episode drew 6.4 million viewers with 7.5 million viewers for the fourth episode reaching a series peak despite airing alongside the Grammy Awards.
The show got its first kind of ratings hit in its fifth episode, debuting two days early on HBO Max to avoid colliding with the Super Bowl that night.
While ratings fell in the fifth episode, they continued to recover in the sixth and seventh episodes, with the seventh episode surpassing 1 million viewers for the first time for the HBO linear broadcast alone.
It’s possible that next week’s Season 1 finale will suffer a loss in viewers as it faces the Oscar awards on ABC, though it failed to get a hit from the Grammys last month.
The Last of Us is based on the video game of the same name by Neil Druckmann that appeared on the PlayStation 3 in 2013.
The series is set in an America ravaged by a mutated cordyceps fungus that turns humans into terrifying creatures and has wiped out most of humanity.
Numbers: If those numbers hold for the rest of the season, it would surpass the average of 29 million viewers per episode for HBO’s House of the Dragon
Viewers: Viewership for the first four episodes of The Last of Us continued to rise, with 5.7 million viewers for the second episode, the largest increase between a premiere and a second episode in HBO history, leading to an extension of season 2
The show revolves around Joel (Pedro Pascal), who has been tasked with bringing a young girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out west in hopes that her immunity to the fungus can help create a cure .
The series also stars Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar . Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence.
Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker – who played Ellie and Joel in the hit video game and its sequel – also guest star in the series.
The show is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, with the creators also directing an episode each.
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.
While the show is clearly a huge hit, it made headlines last month for some kind of error in the sixth episode.
In the episode, Joel and Ellie were walking across a snow-covered bridge, and during one of the wider shots, some eagle-eyed fans spotted some of the crew members in the shot…if you zoomed right in.
The gaffe reminded many fans of the Starbucks cup that was clearly seen in a shot in the final season of Game of Thrones in 2019.
Ellie and Joel: The show revolves around Joel (Pedro Pascal), who’s been tasked with taking a young girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out west in hopes that her immunity to the fungus can help provide a cure to create
Troy: Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker (above) – who played Ellie and Joel in the hit video game and its sequel – also guest star in the series