‘The Last of Us’ premiere: HBO releases ratings for debut episode

The series debuted with HBO’s second-biggest premiere viewership since 2010, behind last year’s “House of the Dragon.”

“The Last of Us” is set in a nightmarish apocalypse, but its audience feels alive and abundant. HBO announced Monday that 4.7 million viewers watched the premiere episode of the video game adaptation on its first day.

Viewership figures are based on Nielsen data and HBO’s own internal data, and include HBO linear viewers and HBO Max viewership on Sunday, January 15, when the episode premiered. With that figure, the first episode of “The Last of Us,” “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” is the second-biggest premiere episode on HBO since 2010’s “Boardwalk Empire.” If this seems like a strange show that hasn’t been beaten in over a decade, remember that this was before HBO Max or its predecessor, HBO Now, when the channel’s content wasn’t as widely available for streaming and premiere day. . ratings were much higher. Sunday night ratings now account for roughly 20 to 40 percent of the show’s total audience per episode, according to HBO.

The biggest premiere audience since “Boardwalk” was, of course, “House of the Dragon,” which drew 9.986 million viewers when it premiered last August. By comparison, “The Last of Us'” premiere ratings are just shy of “House of Dragons'” parent series, “Game of Thrones,” which debuted with 4.2 million viewers in 2011 before steadily exploding throughout the year. his run. By the way, Game of Thrones ended up featuring The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay in its sprawling cast, so perhaps the “Thrones” neighborhood has that magical touch that an HBO series needs to score big. premiere numbers.

When “The Last of Us” debuted last year, it also nearly doubled the premiere numbers of “Euphoria” season 2. The Zendaya-led teen drama is currently HBO’s second-biggest hit after “Dragon’s House,” averaging 19.5 million viewers per episode in the U.S. during its sophomore run.

“Our goal was to deliver the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for the largest possible audience,” said The Last of Us executive producers and showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “We’re thrilled to see how many old and new fans have welcomed ‘The Last of Us’ into their homes and hearts.”

Based on Druckmann’s video game series for Playstation video game consoles, “The Last of Us” stars Pascal as Joel, a smuggler in a post-apocalyptic United States who is hired to travel with 14-year-old Ellie (Ramsey). Season 1 Recurring Cast: Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Murray Bartlett, Melanie Lynskey, Nick Offerman, Storm Reid, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Nico Parker, Keivonn Woodard, and Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker, who played Ellie and Joel in the original games. Mazin and Druckmann executive produce the series for HBO alongside Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam. Sony Pictures Television is producing the series in association with HBO, while PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint and Naughty Dog are additional production companies.

The premiere episode of “The Last of Us” and “When You’re Lost in the Darkness” received critical acclaim. In his review of the first episode, IndieWire critic Steve Greene called it “pretty much the best script for the opening episode of a massive TV adaptation”.

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