You'd think that a video game adaptation would have a niche audience, but you'd be wrong. HBO's The Last of Us proved in its premiere that quality content transcends social stigmas. In its second week, the post-apocalyptic drama based on the award-winning video game series by Naughty Dog just set a new record for HBO.
According to HBO, the jump from 4.7 million viewers in its premiere episode to 5.7 million viewers with the debut of the second episode is the "largest week 2 audience growth for an HBO Original drama series in the history of the network."
Variety added in its report stating that Episode 1 is "tracking at 18 million viewers", which is nearly 4 times the amount of viewers from its premiere night.
HBO's The Last of Us' viewership should only continue to grow through its nine-episode run. It's already beaten Game of Thrones, which stood tall among the series' most popular shows for years. The only question now is if it can dance with House of the Dragon, which pulled in nearly 10 million viewers for its first season finale.
HBO has proven that it knows how to do adaptations right. After Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and The Last of Us, fans are now begging the network to give Resident Evil justice. It's unclear if HBO will eventually give in to fan demand.
On the other hand, the success of HBO's The Last of Us might encourage Neil Druckmann and Naughty Dog to push through with their plans for The Last of Us Part 3 after revealing the series' multiplayer spin-off later this year.
Despite the success, HBO still hasn't officially green-lit the second season of The Last of Us.