HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us continues to gain more and more fans. Ratings for the series, according to Nielsen data, rose from 4.7 million in its debut episode to 5.7 million in its second episode, an increase of 22%. This is the largest increase from premiere to week two of any HBO drama.
Given the reputation of some other game adaptations, many were concerned about how Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann would handle the transition of a beloved game to television. With over 10 million copies sold and a host of awards, The Last of Us is considered by many to be one of the best games ever made, which means the creators have had to tread carefully to replicate what makes it special.
Other series such as Halo and Resident Evil have failed to fully capture audiences, causing some resentment among fans of the originals. However, HBO seems to have managed to create a worthy product, earning viewers’ praise for the way it portrays the emotional moments of the Naughty Dog epic.
The premiere episode of The Last of Us has already been watched by 18 million viewers, almost four times the number of viewers on the day of release. HBO says Sunday viewership is only 20 to 40% of an episode’s total gross audience, so there’s still plenty of room for the show to grow.
The series stars The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal as Joel – a stern, heartbroken smuggler – who must deliver 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsay) to the lab while navigating an America devastated by an outbreak. The cast also includes Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Merle Dandridge, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey and Rutina Wesley.
This year is off to a good start for video game adaptation history, and HBO with The Last of Us, Illumination and Nintendo with The Super Mario Bros., as well as David Garbor with Gran Turismo, will try their hand at this next.
The first season of The Last of Us spans nine episodes, each 46 to 81 minutes long. The episodes will be released weekly, and the final one will air on March 12. A remake of the original The Last of Us: Part I was released last September for PS5. Release date for PC on Steam is March 3rd.
UK sales of The Last of Us Part 1 jump 238% and The Last of Us: Remastered up 322% after launch on HBO