The Last Of Us Hits An Incredible Record Just Before The Final Episode Airs

The Last of Us broke records Sunday night when 8.1 million viewers tuned in.

By Douglas Helm | Published

last of us

Video game adaptation The Last of Us has achieved yet another impressive accolade, and it likely won’t be the last one. Deadline reported that the show’s eighth episode pulled in 8.1 million viewers Sunday night across HBO Max and linear telecasts. This is a series high for the show and is up 74% from the debut.

The massive success of The Last of Us has been quite an interesting story to follow. In addition to pulling in massive viewer numbers, the show also hit over one billion minutes viewed at the end of January on HBO Max alone. It has also been the most-viewed title on HBO Max for eight weeks in a row.

The commercial success would make The Last of Us enough of a hit, but the show has also received almost unanimous critical praise. Both audiences and critics have loved the show, and it’s already considered one of the best video game adaptations ever. Video game adaptations have long been tricky territory, but it seems like they nailed it in this case.

The critical and commercial success of The Last of Us is due in no small part to the fantastic cast that includes Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson, and Troy Baker. It likely helps that Neil Druckmann, creator of the video game is the show’s co-creator. Druckmann worked with Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) to bring the adaptation to the small screen.

The Last of Us depicts a post-apocalyptic world that is ravaged by a parasitic fungal infection. Survivors Joel (Pascal) and Ellie (Ramsey) traverse across the US and rely on each other to survive the infected and violent factions of other humans. The series is adapted from the video game franchise of the same name from Naughty Dog.

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The Last of Us, unsurprisingly, has already been renewed for season two. There was always the assumption that the show would get more than one season since there are two games to adapt material from. However, HBO probably wanted to see if their big gamble paid off before dedicating resources and money to another season.

Fortunately, The Last of Us was huge pretty much from the jump. The show has only gotten more popular as more episodes have aired. It achieved the rare feat of pleasing newcomers and fans of the game, while also reaching a wide audience.

Hopefully, the success of The Last of Us will translate to more quality video game adaptations in the future. There are plenty of new video game adaptations on the horizon. It remains to be seen if any of them can achieve the same level of critical and commercial success.

The Last of Us undoubtedly has the viewership accolades, so the only frontier left to conquer is awards season. Many are predicting that the series will be up for plenty of Emmys, and it seems likely that the series could take a lot of the awards home. While we wait for that, you can catch the season one finale on Sunday and stream the rest of the first season now on HBO Max.