‘The Last Of Us’ Adds A Million Viewers In Fourth Straight Week Of Increases

The Last of Us continues to be a hit for HBO, the likes of which the streaming service has not seen in quite some time. While House of the Dragon did better baseline numbers thanks to the megashow that spawned it, The Last of Us is impressing in a different way, with four weeks of non-stop viewership increases.

Even going up against the Grammys, The Last of Us still saw its viewership jump by 17% over the previous week, up to 7.5 million, gaining over a million new viewers in that week alone. The increases have been consistent, and large:

  • Episode 1 – 4.7 million
  • Episode 2 – 5.7 million
  • Episode 3 – 6.4 million
  • Episode 4 – 7.5 million

There was some concern that the Bill and Frank romance story of episode 3 may have driven away some viewers that may have otherwise stuck around, but instead, thankfully, the opposite happened. That episode was so good that it only increased positive word of mouth about the show, and episode 4 was more watched than any of the previous ones.

Again, this just does not happen. Not like this, anyway. When I wrote about the third week of increased viewership previously, I noted that these kinds of constant increases did not occur for other hit HBO shows like House of the Dragon, Euphoria or even Game of Thrones itself. Shows may increase in overall viewership season over season if they’re doing really well, as Game of Thrones, did, but climbing each episode like this? Only one show I found did that, White Lotus season 1, but the jumps were tiny, and the overall viewership is a fraction of what The Last of Us is getting here.

It does seem somewhat likely that this streak is about to end, however. Not because of a lack of interest, but because this upcoming weekend is the Super Bowl. Even though I think The Last of Us could still do fairly well against it, HBO isn’t taking the risk, and episode 5 will instead air on Friday night. My guess is that people may not get that memo in time and not watch live, so live viewership may finally drop. Or, I suppose, the show’s word of mouth could continue to be so good where enough people do know about the switch, it still ticks up a little. But I’d be surprised, just based on logistics alone.

The Last of Us has already been renewed for season 2, and given that season 2 will only be part of the second game, Craig Mazin has said, season 3 also seems inevitable to finish the story. But we’ll have plenty of time to talk about that later.

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Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2023/02/07/the-last-of-us-adds-a-million-viewers-in-fourth-straight-week-of-increases/