The Last of Us scored HBO’s second-best debut of the last decade.
The video game adaptation starring Pedro Pascal drew 4.7 million viewers on premiere night. This marks the largest debut after House of The Dragon since Boardwalk Empire launched in 2010.
House of the Dragon made history last year by premiering with nearly 10 million viewers – the largest audience for any new original series in the history of pay cabler. Period drama Boardwalk Empire starring Steve Buscemi launched in 2010 with 4.81 million viewers tuning in to its premiere.
The Last of Us is based on the PlayStation game and takes place 20 years after modern civilisation has been destroyed. Joel (Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), 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.
The Last of Us is one of the few video game adaptations that successfully transitioned from the interactive medium to film or television, earning rave reviews from fans and critics alike (read our review here).
“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” said showrunners 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.”
Aside from Pascal and Ramsey, the series stars 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.
The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max.