HBO strikes yet again as 'The Last of Us' Episode 2 secures largest-ever viewership growth

HBO strikes yet again as 'The Last of Us' Episode 2 secures largest-ever viewership growth
A still from Episode 2 of 'The Last of Us' (HBO)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Looks like HBO's megahit 'The Last of Us' continues to grow with tremendous support from its viewers. Following the second-biggest network launch of the decade, the adaptation is currently one of HBO's most rapidly expanding projects. In terms of linear airings and HBO Max streams, the second episode of the series Nielsen ratings increased from 4.7 to 5.7 million, a 22% increase from the debut. From week one to week two, it represents the biggest increase of any HBO original program.

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The second episode of the series titled, 'Infected', was aired on January 22, 2023. It was directed by Neil Druckmann and written by Craig Mazin, and viewers experienced the creepiness of the infamous clickers up front. Fans of the video game complimented the episode for accurately portraying the clickers' makeup and prosthetics.

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The fact that 'The Last of Us' performed so much better than it did in its debut shouldn't come as a complete surprise. There was some uncertainty about how the show's makers would handle the beloved game's transition to television given the track record of video game adaptations. 'The Last of Us' is regarded as one of the best video games ever made with over 10 million copies sold and numerous accolades, so the creators had to take great care to preserve its unique qualities.

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The 'Game of Thrones' sequel series, 'House of the Dragon', which began in August 2022, is the only HBO program that can be compared in recent memory. Both programs have performed much better than 'Euphoria' which saw a growth of  2.4 million viewers to 6.6 million by the end of season 2.

'The Last of Us' is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann write the series and serve as executive producers along with Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam.

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