‘The Last Of Us’ Finale Draws 8.2 Million Viewers, A Series High, Despite Oscars Competition

The Last of Us” season finale aired Sunday night at the same time as the 95th Academy Awards, but that competition did nothing to affect its viewership.

The popular HBO Max drama attracted an audience of 8.2 million viewers for its season 1 finale on March 12, a record high for the series. Warner Brothers Discovery reported that the first six episodes are now averaging 30.4 million viewers, including initial views and streaming over time. 

“The Last of Us” has become the most-watched HBO Max series in the network’s history in Europe, per Variety. It’s still outranked by “House of the Dragon” in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Academy Awards boasted its highest viewership since 2020 but still failed to get anywhere close to pre-pandemic numbers. The ABC broadcast earned an average of 18.7 million viewers for the evening.

This isn’t the first time the series competed with a major awards show for views. Episode 4, “Please Hold to My Hand,” earned 7.5 million viewers while airing at the same time as the Grammys on February 5, a record at the time. 

HBO Max did not attempt to compete with the Super Bowl on February 12, opting to release that week’s new episode two days early.

“The Last of Us” was already renewed for a second season, and there are rumors of a third. The zombie apocalypse show is based on the video game of the same name, and series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have already hinted that the events of the second part of the game could merit two seasons to explore. 

Like season 1, the next installment of “The Last of Us” will rely heavily on the game’s narrative for content but will also divert from gameplay at the creators’ discretion.

Mazin said during a virtual press conference this week that season 2 “will be different” from Part II of the game. 

“It will be different just as this season was different [from the first game],” he said, per Entertainment Weekly. “Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be [barely] different at all. But it’s going to be different and it will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make.”

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