It’s fair to say at this point that the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us has been nothing short of a smash hit with viewers. Fans of the game franchise and newcomers alike have been tuning in by the millions as the series has got underway. Now, after some very early speculation, it’s been confirmed that The Last of Us has been renewed for season 2 on HBO and HBO Max.
The news comes off the back of some incredible viewing figures for the show’s initial episode. With the series currently only two episodes in, the series premiere pulled in an astonishing 22 million viewers overall, with around 4.7 million of those viewers watching the series opener live on January 15. The figures meant that The Last of Us was HBO’s second-biggest debut on the service, coming in second only to House of the Dragon.
Regardless, these audience numbers have paved the way for the series to grow further, which was clearly the case after its most recent episode two. The second instalment of the adaptation pulled in a further 22% of additional viewers to the show, which is reportedly the largest jump in viewership numbers from week one to two of any HBO show in the service’s history. Pretty impressive stuff, all things considered.
Clearly, the appetite for The Last of Us has quickly convinced HBO to pin down the series for a second season. Speaking to IGN, the show’s executive producer and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann has shared his excitement and gratitude at the news of the series’ renewal for season two. “I’m humbled, honoured, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey,” Druckmann says. “The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast and crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations. Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with Season 2! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog and PlayStation, thank you.”
It’s clearly a very exciting announcement for longstanding fans of The Last of Us franchise. However, for newcomers to the series, it’s evident that the show has connected with audiences who have no prior knowledge of Joel and Ellie’s adventures in the games. In addition to the news of the show’s renewal, HBO has implemented another strategy to pull in new viewers for The Last of Us. Episode one of the show is now available to watch for free over on YouTube after being uploaded earlier today. The episode is currently available on the Sky TV YouTube channel in the UK, with it being expected to be available on HBO’s YouTube channel for those in the US and further afield later today.
Episode 3 of The Last of Us airs this Sunday, January 29.