‘The Last of Us’ ratings set series record on Oscars night

The season one finale of the video game adaptation premiered on HBO Linear and HBO Max during the telecast of the 95th Academy Awards.

After dealing with clickers, cannibalsAnd catastrophic heartache, a simple awards ceremony was nothing to the ultimate survivors Ellie and Joel. The season finale of “The last of usdrew 8.2 million viewers on Sunday night across HBO Max and Linear-HBO, a new series in the lead, although it is scheduled against the 95th Academy Awards airing on ABC.

The finale of “The Last of Us” began at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max; the Oscars began at 8 p.m. ET and ended shortly after 11:30 p.m. ET on ABC. We don’t have any numbers for the Oscars yet, but ABC hopes it did much better than even the “Last of Us.” The 2022 Oscars drew 16.6 million viewers (although early data available for the program showed 13.7 million); the Oscars all-time low was 10.5 million viewers in 2021.

“The Last of Us” has consistently enjoyed strong audiences during its nine-episode first season. The show’s previous record was 8.1 million viewers for last week’s penultimate episode, “When We’re In Need.”

The Oscars aren’t the first major event “The Last of Us” has attended in its short life: Episode 4 (7.5 million viewers) aired alongside the 65th annual Grammy Awards, and HBO Max moved episode 5 forward (11.6 million viewers Friday-Sunday) so as not to compete with the Super Bowl, which is the most-watched TV show of the year every year. (The Oscars were traditionally No. 2.)

“The Last of Us” debuted in January with 4.7 million viewers, making it the second most-watched premiere for HBO since 2010, behind the “Game of Thrones” spin-off “House of the Dragon.” Incidentally, “The Last of Us” is also adjacent to “Thrones,” with series protagonists Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey having both been cast members of the fantasy series George RR Martin over its eight seasons.

Sunday’s season finale, titled “Look for the Light,” received positive reviews from critics on its Sunday air date. In his writing for IndieWire, reviewer Ben Travers gave the episode an “A-” grade and described it as a “devastating inversion of what we expect from the endings”.

Based on Naughty Dog’s 2013 PlayStation video game franchise, “The Last of Us” comes to HBO from original game creator Neil Druckmann, who co-presents with “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin. Future seasons will adapt “The Last of Us Part II,” which released in 2020 and follows main characters Joel and Ellie four years after their first adventure.

Along with Pascal and Ramsey, “The Last of Us” Season 1 also featured Merle Dandridge, Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Storm Reid, Melanie Lynskey, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Montreal Woodard, Nico Parker, Jeffrey Pierce, Rutina Wesley and Scott Shepherd. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who played Joel and Ellie in the original games, also appeared on the show (as different characters).

Mazin and Druckmann are executive producers for HBO along with Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam. Sony Pictures Television is co-producing the series with HBO; PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog serve as additional production companies.

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