‘The Last Of Us’ Second Episode Up 22% From Debut Viewership On HBO

The Last of Us is gaining traction. In its second week, the series jumped 22% from its debut viewership, drawing 5.7M viewers on Sunday night.

That’s about a million more than the audience that tuned in for the premiere episode last week, and it marks the largest week 2 audience growth for an HBO Original drama series in the history of the network.

Since it debuted, the first episode has now tallied nearly four times its premiere night audience, currently tracking around 18M viewers. 

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The video game adaptation had already set a record during its premiere night. The audience of 4.7M marked HBO’s largest debut after House of the Dragon since Boardwalk Empire launched in 2010.

The Game of Thrones spinoff made history last year by premiering with 9.986M viewers across linear and HBO Max – the largest audience for any new original series in the history of pay cabler.

The premiere numbers for The Last of Us were nearly double the season two debut night for Euphoria, which recorded 2.4M last January. With the second episode, Euphoria season two grew to 2.6M viewers, now putting The Last of Us at far more than double the same-day audience. Euphoria went on to average 19.5M viewers per episode in the U.S. — which The Last Of Us appears to be approaching in delayed viewing.

HBO said that Sunday night viewership typically represents 20%-40% of the show’s total gross audience per episode.

The Last of Us, which is based on the PlayStation game, takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal journey as they both must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival. 

It stars Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman as well as Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker.

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