The series premiere of original episodic program “The Last of Us” generated more than 4.7 million U.S. viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms on Jan. 15, based on Nielsen and first-party data. This is HBO’s second-largest debut, behind only “House of the Dragon,” since “Boardwalk Empire” premiered on the network in 2010, before HBO programming was broadly available on a streaming app.
Sunday night’s viewership was nearly double the season two debut night for “Euphoria,” which went on to average 19.5 million viewers per episode in the United States. Sunday night viewership for an HBO series typically represents 20% to 40% of the show’s total gross audience per episode.
The series was also a hit on social media, trending No. 1 both in the United States and worldwide on Twitter Sunday night. To date, season one teasers and trailers have amassed more than 100 million views globally. Additionally, the first episode of the series’ companion podcast hit No. 1 on Apple’s TV & Film chart in the United States within 24 hours of its release.
“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and  video game alike experience this story in a new way, and we extend our gratitude to them for helping to make it a success,” Casey Bloys, chairman and CEO of HBO and HBO Max Content, said in a statement.
With a 99% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Last of Us” showcases a smuggler (“Mandalorian” lead Pedro Pascal) leading a teenager (Bella Ramsey) through post-apocalyptic America.
New episodes debut each Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and on HBO Max, leading up to the finale on March 12. ‘The Last of Us’ Podcast features host Troy Baker, who plays Joel in the video game, discussing the show with series creators Craig Mazin (Emmy-winning creator of HBO’s “Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann, the creator of the video game, for a scene-by-scene deep dive of each episode.
A new spotlight page for series is now live on Max, featuring behind-the-scenes content and access to the companion podcast, as well as an interactive flashlight to help fans find their next series to watch. The spotlight page also showcases a curated selection of movies and series from 2003, the year the life-altering outbreak occurred in the new HBO series.