LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Last of Us" fans set another rating record for the season one finale of the apocalyptic, mushroom-infected zombie video game adaptation. Despite airing against the Oscars Sunday night, HBO said the season finale drew in 8.2 million viewers.
Viewership for "The Last of Us" has consistently grown throughout the season. The series has not only won over gamers with high expectations but also critics and people who aren't familiar with the game.
The series premiere drew 4.7 million viewers in the U.S., based on Nielsen and HBO data, making for HBO’s second-largest debut, behind “House of the Dragon.” Outside of the U.S., “The Last of Us” is now the most-watched show in the history of HBO Max in both Europe and Latin America, HBO said.
As viewers watch episodes on the streaming platforms days after the episodes air, the numbers for the series will continue to increase. The series is now averaging 30.4 million viewers across its first six episodes, with the first episode approaching 40 million viewers in the U.S., HBO said.
HBO did concede to the ratings behemoth that is the Super Bowl, dropping the fifth episode of “The Last of Us” on HBO Max and HBO On Demand early last month on the Friday before the big game on Feb. 12. But the ratings for episode five were still strong, with 11.6 million viewers from Friday through Sunday.
The series finale ended with Joel making some difficult and controversial decisions that left viewers wondering what was next for protagonists Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal). While not much has been officially announced about the second season, fans of the video game know about “The Last of Us Part II” and are eagerly anticipating how the game will be adapted for season two.