The Last of Us season 1 finale got high ratings for the season

Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO

Of course, The last of us season 1 finale broadcast the same night as the Oscarsbut that hasn’t stopped fans of the HBO Max PlayStation adaptation from devouring the final chapter in Joel’s (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) adventures in post-apocalyptic survival– setting a new rank mark by doing so.

According to an HBO press release, the Season 1 finale “set another high rating on Sunday night, delivering 8.2 million viewers on HBO Max and linear telecasts, based on Nielsen and first-party data.” In total, the show averaged 30.4 million viewers for its first six episodes (over a nine-episode season); the first episode alone drew nearly 40 million viewers. The last of us is also “the most-watched show in HBO Max history in Europe and Latin America”, so eat your heart, Dragon House.

Word of mouth, internet breaking buzz, and the critical acclaim all factored into the show’s steady rise in viewership throughout its season, as HBO notes: “Starting at 4.7 million viewers in January, it showed consistent growth throughout its first season despite increased competition from live sports broadcasts and awards shows. Sunday night’s final viewership marked a 75% increase in viewing for the first night compared to the series premiere.

Here are HBO’s numbers for Sunday night viewership throughout the season; note that episode five aired early due to Superbowl:

  • Episode 1 – 4.7 million (January 15)
  • Episode 2 – 5.7 million (January 22)
  • Episode 3 – 6.4 million (January 29)
  • Episode 4 – 7.5 million (February 5)
  • Episode 5 – 11.6 million (February 10-February 12)*
    *Early premiere, includes Friday-Sunday data
  • Episode 6 – 7.8 million (February 19)
  • Episode 7 – 7.7 million (February 26)
  • Episode 8 – 8.1 million (March 5)
  • Episode 9 – 8.2 million (March 12)

For those who can’t get enough: HBO released a behind-the-scenes featurette of the making of The last of us as part of the final. You can show its replay youtomorrow, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT; you can also check it out as an extra attached to the season finale on HBO Max. And if you’re right now realize you missed one of the 2023 pop culture triumphs, you can watch the entire series on HBO Max; the first episode is still streaming for free, so even if you don’t have a subscription yet, you can check it out. Season two of The last of us is already under construction.

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