The Last of Us Becomes HBO’s Second Highest Premiere Since House of the Dragon

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One of the most highly anticipated TV shows this 2023 is The Last of Us, adapted from the video game created by Naughty Dog back in 2013. Though The Last of Us was initially supposed to be adapted into a three-hour film under Sony, Neil Druckmann rejected the offer, and eventually landed a series with co-showrunner Craig Mazin on HBO. Seeking to adapt the game-accurate series, The Last of Us found success on their premiere night, which also highlights another record on the streaming site.

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Reported by Deadline, The Last of Us made an impressive debut by garnering 4.7 million viewers from only its first episode. In comparison to the Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon, that garnered 9.986 million on its premiere night, The Last of Us came closest in its numbers, which means the post-apocalyptic series marked the second highest premiere score after House of the Dragon!

READ MORE: The Last of Us Provides its Own Stranger Things’ Running Up That Hill

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There is no doubt that Druckmann and Mazin outdid themselves, seeing as on the very premiere night on January 15th, HBO Max had crashed down due to the overload of viewers anticipating the first episode to watch Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey as Ellie.

Did you know the first episode was initially meant to be split into two episodes? As previously mentioned by Mazin on HBO’s The Last of Us Podcast, the one-hour and 20-minute episode just needed to already introduce the relationship of Joel and Ellie to reel in the viewers wanting for more. “People may not want to come back” had they simply ended without “getting a glimpse” of what the duo’s journey would be for the entire first season.

The Last of Us Episode 1 is available to stream on HBO Max. Meanwhile, The Last of Us Episode 2 comes on January 22, 2023 at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PT.

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ALSO READ: The Last of Us Showrunner Explains Casting Original Voice Actors: “They Needed To Be There”