Streaming, Television

HBO Renews ‘The Last of Us’ for a Second Season

Joel holds Ellie back in a still from "The Last of Us" episode 2

On Friday, HBO announced that after airing just two episodes in its first season, “The Last of Us” has been picked up for a second season.

The series from co-creators Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann (creator and writer of the “The Last of Us” video game franchise and Naughty Dog Co-President) marks HBO’s second-largest debut, behind only “House of the Dragon.” Episode 1 has now surpassed 22 million viewers domestically, up nearly five times from its premiere night audience.

Episode two of “The Last of Us” tallied 5.7 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts in the U.S. Sunday night, based on Nielsen and first-party data, adding more than 1 million new viewers versus the series premiere. This 22% jump marks the largest week-two audience growth for any HBO Original Drama Series in the network’s history.

“I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations,” said executive producer Neil Druckmann. “Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”

“I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey,” said executive producer Craig Mazin. “The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.”

“The Last of Us” takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Season one stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence. Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker also star.

Episode three of the series will debut Sunday at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. New episodes will air each week leading up to the finale on March 12. Starting today, the first episode of The Last of Us will be made available for free on HBOMax.com.

“The Last Of Us” is based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation┬« platforms. It is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and is executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam.

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