The Last of Us Had HBO’s Biggest Premiere Since House of the Dragon

The Last of Us: Pedro Pascal's Joel in front of Bella Ramsey's Ellie.

HBO’s The Last of Us, based on the popular video game of the same name, debuts with 4.7 million viewers, its highest since House of the Dragon.

HBO’s The Last Of Us has made an impressive debut, premiering with the highest numbers on the platform since House of the Dragon hit last year.

Based on the video game of the same name, the post-apocalyptic drama drew a total of 4.7 million viewers across traditional linear cable and HBO Max, reports Deadline. In comparison, House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones spinoff, attracted 9.986 million viewers, which are the highest figures for a new original series in the history of pay cable. With that show’s 2022 premiere numbers being a momentous outlier, The Last of Us can more closely compare its premiere performance to the Steve Buscemi-starring crime series Boardwalk Empire, which premiered back in 2010 to 4.81 million viewers. However, the latter arrived in a time before streaming provided an extra source of viewers.

Related: HBO’s The Last of Us Including the Video Game Cast Wasn’t About ‘Fan Service’

The Last of Us Hits Big for HBO

HBO has highlighted in the past that Sunday night viewership is usually representative of 20% to 40% of any show’s total gross audience per episode. In an official statement released by HBO, Chairman and CEO Casey Bloys said, “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. 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.”

Written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, a criminal and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, a 14-year-old girl that Joel must smuggle across a post-apocalyptic United States, 20 years after the decline of human civilization. “Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” Mazin and Druckmann expressed in a shared statement. “We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The Last of Us into their homes and their hearts,” they added.

Related: The Biggest Differences Between HBO’s The Last of Us & the Video Game

In an earlier interview, Druckmann opened up about the level of violence in The Last of Us and how it would differ from the video game. He confirmed that the show would be less violent and retain only what was essential to the story. “That allowed the violence to have even more impact than in the game, because when you hold on showing the threat and you’re seeing people’s reaction to a threat, that makes it scarier,” Druckmann explained.

Auspiciously, Mazin also discussed how the show will be about “the journey,” making it extremely rewarding to fans of the video game franchise. Having played the game nearly 12 times himself, Mazin has promised plenty of “surprises” along the way that will “blow your mind.”

The Last of Us is currently streaming on HBO Max.

Source: Deadline


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