HBO's 'The Last of Us' Draws 4.7 Million Premiere-Night Viewers, Second Biggest Debut in the Premium Network's 'Max' Era

HBO original series 'The Last of Us'
The title 'The Last of Us' refers to the fictional survivors of a fungal apocalypse, not the remaining series not removed from HBO Max for tax write-offs. (Image credit: HBO)

HBO's post-apocalyptic-themed, videogame-adapted series The Last of Us drew 4.7 million viewers for its premiere across linear and streaming channels Sunday, making it HBO's second biggest debut of the HBO Max era, trailing only the 10 million premiere-night viewers drawn by House of the Dragon last August.

In fact, The Last of Us drew the second biggest debut audience for HBO since the dawn of Boardwalk Empire way back in 2010.

HBO said that premiere night performance typically accounts for 20% - 40% of an episode's total audience.

Adapted from a popular PlayStation game, The Last of Us follows a group of viral, er, fungal pandemic survivors trying to make their way across post-apocalyptic America. The series scored an impressive 99% critics review aggregation score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The series was created by Craig Mazin (who previously created HBO’s Emmy-winning Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann, who created the game source material. 

Now, time for some boring press release quotes that won't improve your reader experience one iota.

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

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!