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For the First Time In HBO History, Four Current Series Average Over 15 Million Viewers

31 Jan 2023

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Press Release
Episode 3 of THE LAST OF US tallied 6.4 million viewers Sunday night, up an additional 12% from last week’s historic jump in viewership and up 37% from the series debut night. The audience is measured based on Nielsen and first party data.

Season 1 is now averaging 21.3 million viewers across its first two episodes, marking another historic milestone as HBO celebrates its most-watched programming slate in the network’s history.

Four current HBO Original series now have cross platform audiences averaging more than 15 million viewers per episode.

House of the Dragon, season 1: 29 million viewers
The Last of Us, season 1: 21.3 million viewers
Euphoria, season 2: 19.5 million viewers
The White Lotus, season 2: 15.5 million viewers

This is the first time HBO has had multiple current series drawing more than 15 million viewers at a time across all genres. For comparison, in 2002, “The Sopranos” averaged an estimated 18.2 million viewers in its fourth season, with “Sex and the City” season 5 (13.8 million) and “Six Feet Under” season 2 (12.1 million) following closely behind.

Episode 3 of THE LAST OF US, titled “Long, Long Time,” was heralded by Rolling Stone as “a fabulous, fabulous episode of television,” and the “early frontrunner for the best TV installment of 2023.” Nick Offerman’s performance as Bill was described by IGN as “outstanding,” while Murray Bartlett’s portrayal of Frank was lauded as “equally brilliant.” Vulture praised it as “an extraordinary hour of television” while Esquire described it as “a TV moment we’ll never forget.” CNN said the episode lays “an early claim to one of the best TV episodes of 2023,” with the Los Angeles Times noting it’s “the episode that has everybody talking.”

New episodes of THE LAST OF US debut each Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and are available to stream on HBO Max, leading up to the finale on March 12. Fans can also tune in to The Last of Us Podcast, the series’ official companion podcast where host Troy Baker, who plays Joel in the video game, sits down with series creators Craig Mazin (Emmy®-winning creator of HBO’s “Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann, the creator of the acclaimed video game, for a scene-by-scene deep dive of each episode.

A new spotlight page for THE LAST OF US is live on HBO Max, featuring behind-the-scenes content and access to the companion podcast, as well as an interactive flashlight to help fans find their next series to watch. The spotlight page also showcases a curated selection of movies and series from 2003, the year the life-altering outbreak occurred in the new HBO series.