The premiere of the video game adaptation, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, drew an audience of 4.7million (via Deadline), making it the second-largest debut for a HBO show after House Of The Dragon.
The Game Of Thrones spin-off made history last year by premiering with 9.86million viewers across HBO Max – the largest ever audience for a new original series.
In response to the figures for The Last Of Us, Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of HBO and HBO Max, said: “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.
“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 series, which is based on the best-selling PlayStation game, takes place 20 years after modern civilisation has been destroyed by the spread of a fungus-like parasite. It follows Joel (Pascal), a grieving father who is hired to smuggle Ellie (Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone.
Other cast members include Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman, as well as Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker.
In NME‘s four-star review of the series, we said: “When The Last Of Us was announced, a vocal corner of the internet exploded into anxious anticipation, some sniping that Ramsey didn’t look enough like Ellie.
“Gamers have been burned before by poorly conceived adaptations of their favourite titles, so they were naturally skeptical. But they needn’t have been. The Last Of Us lacks novel ideas, but when it’s this good it can get away with it.”