‘The Last of Us’ Premieres to Over 4 Million Viewers

Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal - HBO The Last of Us Season 1 - Episode 3
Liane Hentscher/HBO

The series premiere of HBO‘s The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, drew in an impressive 4.7 million viewership across the network and HBO Max streaming service in the United States. (These numbers are based on first-party data from HBO and Nielsen ratings.)

It is the second largest debut for the network behind 2022’s House of the Dragon and since Boardwalk Empire‘s premiere in 2010, before the debut of HBO Max. The Last of Us‘ debut was nearly double the Season 2 debut of Euphoria, which premiered with an average of 19.5 million viewers per episode in the U.S., with Sunday night viewership typically reflecting 20-40 percent of a show’s total gross audience per episode.

“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” said executive producers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The Last of Us into their homes and their hearts.”

“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and game alike experience this iconic story in a new way, and we extend our gratitude to them for helping to make it a success,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of HBO & HBO Max Content. “Congratulations to Craig, Neil and the brilliant cast and crew who worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. We look forward to fans around the world enjoying the rest of the season.”

The Last of Us — and its premiere episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness” — has received critical acclaim. The series currently has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In his review of the first episode, TV Guide Magazine‘s senior critic Matt Roush gave it four and a half stars out of five, saying it “transcends its origins to become an unusually affecting, at times heartbreaking, trek of terror, right up there with the early days of The Walking Dead.”

The Last of Us, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO