The Last of Us is already a huge hit – but it couldn’t make HBO Max history

It’s official: The Last of Us TV show is as infectious as we’ve come to expect it to be.

The hotly anticipated post-apocalyptic drama is the most-watched TV premiere in HBO and HBO Max history, with 4.7 million viewers tuned in to watch it last Sunday (January 15) in the US.

In a press release, HBO revealed that its live-action adaptation of The Last of Us, which stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, drew twice as many viewers as the season 2 opener of Euphoria. The Zendaya-starring drama hit 19.5 million viewers per episode, so The Last of Us’ early performance suggests it could do even better. According to Samba TV, the premiere of The Last of Us had a 62% higher viewership than the second season of The White Lotus.

Photo of Joel from The Last of Us and Tanya from The White Lotus with 62 percent written on top

The Last of Us beats The White Lotus Season 2 and Euphoria Season 2. (Image credit: Samba TV)

An excellent start to the show is to be expected. The Last of Us, which is largely based on Naughty Dog’s award-winning video game series of the same name, was met with critical acclaim ahead of its premiere. We mostly praised it in our The Last of Us review, with a score of 99% and 96% based on fresh critics and audience ratings on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. (Opens in a new tab)Everyone agrees how awesome he really is. It won’t surprise anyone, then, that we’ve already added it to our list of the best HBO Max shows.

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