Based on the viewership of its premiere, HBO has its next major hit series on its hands with The Last of Us. The video game adaptation garnered 4.7 million viewers during its Sunday night premiere between the linear cable channel and the HBO Max streaming service. This officially became the second-largest debut for an HBO original series since 2010, with the Steve Buscemi-led Boardwalk Empire drawing in 4.81 million viewers in its debut.
Of course, the one series that drew in higher debut viewerships was House of the Dragon from this past summer. The Game of Thrones prequel debuted to a remarkable 9.986 million viewers between the HBO network and HBO Max. The monstrous debut drew in the largest audience in pay cable history.
Based on the Playstation video game series of the same name, The Last of Us follows Joel, a survivor of a mass societal apocalypse, being hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie away from a dangerous situation. From there, the series will follow a cross-country odyssey with the two characters in their struggle to survive the widespread infection.
The series stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as the two leads with the ensemble cast including Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, and Nick Offerman. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann serve as writers and executive producers for the series.
New episodes for The Last of Us premiere every Sunday at 9:00 pm EST. The first season will consist of nine episodes. You can read Murphy’s Multiverse review of the premiere here.