“The Last of Us” closed its first season with another triumph. With an audience of 8.2 million for episode 9, the series broke its own viewing record, a significant achievement considering the finale was released during ABC’s telecast of the Academy Awards.
A combination of Nielsen data and Warner Bros.’ own data. Discovery, this figure takes into account those who watched Sunday night on cable channel HBO, as well as overnight broadcasts on HBO Max. WBD also shared that the series’ first six episodes are now averaging 30.4 million viewers, with Season 1 approaching 40 million. In Europe and Latin America, The Last of Us became the most popular show in HBO Max history.
This isn’t the first time The Last of Us has outdone itself by competing with a major awards show. Episode 4, titled “Please Hold My Hand,” drew 7.5 million viewers when it aired at the same time as the Grammys, which was the highest-grossing at the time.
When The Last of Us debuted in January, it tied for House of the Dragon as HBO’s second-most-watched premiere in more than a decade with 4.7 million viewers. Episode 2 marked the biggest increase in HBO history between the first and second episodes of the series with 5.7 million viewers. The series then gained 6.4 million viewers with Series 3.
WBD also released new audience data for “The Last of Us” episodes 5-7 that was previously unavailable.
Episode 5 was watched by 11.6 million people, which, while impressive, Diversity does not consider the series high due to its unconventional release. Because the episode was originally scheduled to air on Sunday night during the Super Bowl, HBO decided to release the episode on HBO Max two days early. Therefore, this figure represents the audience for the entire weekend of February 10-12, not just one night. Episodes 6 and 7 were watched by 7.8 and 7.7 million people respectively.
The most comparable TV series in terms of viewing was Dragon House Season 1, which aired in 2022. And while The Last of Us has yet to overtake House of the Dragon, the former has steered a steeper trajectory than the latter.
Starting with 4.7 million viewers and ending with 8.1 million viewers, “The Last of Us” audience grew by 75% during its 1 season. In contrast, House of the Dragon was watched by 9.99 million with episode 1 and 10.2 million with episode 2. and 9.3 million with the finale. (WBD has not released exact audience numbers for episodes 3 through 9.) That’s a 6.9% decline. And while the Dragon House finale’s audience certainly suffered from the episode being leaked online two days before it aired, it’s almost impossible that it could have grown at the same rate as even The Last of Us. without leakage. Although the specific results of many episodes were not available, it is known that they followed a more even path: Diversity was able to confirm that House of the Dragon views were up 5% with episode 4, 3% with episode 5 and another 3% with episode 6.
It should also be noted that House of the Dragon had the advantage of serving as a prequel to Game of Thrones, HBO’s biggest hit of all time, while The Last of Us is the first adaptation of the source material. (PlayStation games of the same name). “Dragon House” also never aired with the main award.
The Last of Us received an early renewal for a second season, which was announced when only the first two episodes of Season 1 had aired. Given the success of the series, a third season is already looking likely, with creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckman saying Monday that they intend to stretch the storylines of the second video game “The Last of Us” for more than one television season.
Read it DiversityThe final interview with Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in the video games, and the final interview with Production Designer John Payne.