Update: Variety reports that updated figures for the show have come through and viewership for the premiere episode of The Last of Us has already reached another milestone of 10 million in the US alone in its first two days.
Cast aside any doubt you might have had – after overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics for the full season and a similar sentiment from viewers after the premiere of the first episode, HBO’s TV adaptation of The Last of Us now has the viewership numbers to prove it’s a hit.
A press release from HBO reports that the debut episode of the show, created by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Naughty Dog’s own Neil Druckmann, reached 4.7 million viewers in the US on HBO/HBO MAX alone. That number is the network’s second-highest figure after House of the Dragon, and makes it the first show since 2010’s Boardwalk Empire to nab that #2 spot.
HBO also claims in the press release that “Sunday night viewership for an HBO series typically represents 20%-40% of the show’s total gross audience per episode,” with shows like Euphoria scoring half the premiere numbers but going on to average nearly 20 million viewers per episode after that.
We were among the lucky few to be able to watch the entire series in full ahead of its first episode debut, with our own Shannon Grixti saying in his review, “HBO’s The Last Of Us rises above to be an absolute classic. It’d be a disservice to only go as far as saying that this is a fantastic TV show adaption of a video game, because on its own, it’s a must-watch piece of television.”
“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” Mazin and Druckmann said of the success of the debut. “We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed ‘The Last of Us’ into their homes and their hearts.”
“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,” added 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.”
HBO’s The Last of Us drops new episodes every Monday at 1PM AEDT. To see the full schedule and where Aussies can watch the episodes, head here.