The Last of Us Is HBO’s Second-Largest Premiere Since 2010

By Jessica Lerner 

The Last of Us is a bona fide success.

The series premiere attracted 4.7 million viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms Sunday night.

Since Boardwalk Empire debuted on the network in 2010, this is HBO’s second-largest launch, trailing only behind House of the Dragon. The performance on Sunday night was almost twice as good as Euphoria’s Season 2 premiere night, which went on to average 19.5 million viewers per episode in the United States. An HBO series’ average Sunday night audience makes up 20-40% of the total gross viewers for each episode.


“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,” Casey Bloys, chairman and CEO, HBO & HBO Max content, said. “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.”

Based on the 2013 video game, the series follows a smuggler named Joel (Pedro Pascal) tasked with escorting a teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic United States. Gabriel Luna plays Tommy, Joel’s younger brother; Merle Dandridge portrays Marlene, the resistance’s leader; and Anna Torv plays Tess, Joel’s smuggler companion.
“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” said executive producers Craig Mazin and Neil 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.”