Season 1 of The Last of Us has released just two episodes so far and both have hit astronomical numbers. The show is one of HBO's greatest creations, right up there with Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, House of the Dragon, Westworld, etc.
HBO struck when the hammer was hot and renewed the show for a second season. Fans of video games and series are overjoyed by the news, even demanding that the show shouldn't conclude after two seasons. Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie, previously teased that there was a huge possibility for a second season.
"If people keep watching, I think [a second series] is pretty likely. It’s down to the guys at HBO. There’s nothing confirmed yet so we’ll have to wait and see."
Turns out, HBO didn't think twice before pulling the trigger on the next season.
The Last of Us was trending No. 1 both in the U.S. and worldwide
Episode 1 of The Last of Us has now surpassed 22 million viewers in the USA alone, which is five times more than its premiere night audience. The show marked HBO’s second-largest debut, behind only House of the Dragon. Episode 2 touched 5.7 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts in the U.S.
Based on Nielsen and first-party data, more than 1 million new viewers watched the second episode compared to the series premiere. There was a 22% jump in viewership, marking the largest week-two audience growth for any HBO Original Drama Series in the history of the network.
Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming, Head of HBO Drama Series and Films praised the show and commented on its renewal. He said:
"Craig and Neil, alongside EP Carolyn Strauss, and the rest of our phenomenal cast and crew, have defined a genre with their masterful debut season of "The Last of Us". After pulling off this unforgettable first season, I can't wait to watch this team outshine themselves again with season two."
The Last of Us has also been a massive success on social media, trending at No. 1 both in the U.S. and worldwide on Twitter during its debut. Its teasers and trailers have crossed more than 100 million views globally, with the pilot's companion podcast hitting #1 on the Apple Podcast US charts across all genres within 48 hours of its release. Google even created a The Last of Us Easter egg.
Co-showrunner/Executive producer Neil Druckmann said:
"I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations."
"Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”
Co-showrunner/Executive producer Craig Mazin added:
"I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey. The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in."
Episode 3 of The Last of Us titled "Long Long Time", will be released on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at 9 PM ET on HBO and HBO Max.