The Last of Us is currently dominating Sunday nights as the first season is currently airing weekly and have instantly become part of the zeitgeist as evidenced by the massive response to the acclaimed third episode. The nine-episode season is expected to go on every Sunday until the middle of March.
However, this weekend, there will be a change to its release schedule as HBO has announced that the fifth episode of The Last of Us will premiere early on HBO Max and HBO on Demand this Friday, February 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT ahead of its linear premiere on HBO in its usual Sunday schedule.
The early premiere of the fifth episode is due to the upcoming Super Bowl telecast this Sunday, which is the most-watched TV event of the year and is expected to dominate the ratings for that night. With this early release, the episode won't be competing with the event in the ratings.
This is certainly exciting for the audience of the series, especially since the fourth episode ended in a cliffhanger and they will be able to find out what's next earlier than what they expected. They also no longer have to worry about spoilers if they decide to prioritize watching the Super Bowl since they don't need to catch up anymore.
It would be interesting to see if this is a one-time situation since the first season finale on March 12 will be airing at the same time as the Oscars ceremony, which is also a huge TV event that garners a lot of audience than a usual TV episode.
The series's logline reads: "The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival."
New episodes of The Last of Us premiere every Sunday night on HBO and HBO Max. You can check more details about it here.