Great news, The Last of Us fans. HBO has announced that episode five of the hit series will land on HBO Max earlier than normal this week.
According to HBO, episode five of The Last of Us will premiere on HBO Max Friday, February 10 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. In addition to hitting HBO Max on Friday, The Last of Us will air on HBO at its normal time this Sunday at 9 PM ET. Normally, HBO Originals air on the network and its streaming service simultaneously. The early premiere is likely so the show can avoid competition from the Super Bowl, which will take place this Sunday.
The Last of Us has been going strong for three weeks now, garnering impressive viewership each week. Its premiere amassed a same-day audience of 4.7 million viewers, which was the largest debut behind House of the Dragon since the 2010 premiere of Boardwalk Empire.
Episode three of The Last of Us saw a 37% spike in viewers, reaching 6.4 million people. Most recently, episode four hit a series high of 7.5 million viewers despite competition from the Grammys. The Last of Us has consistently grown in viewership each week, something that “just doesn’t happen,” according to Forbes’ Paul Tassi. Even hit shows like HBO’s House of the Dragon and The White Lotus didn’t see this kind of viewership growth in their debut seasons.
While these numbers are remarkable, they’re no match for the Super Bowl. The big game draws massive viewership each year. Last year’s Super Bowl matchup brought in over 99 million viewers.
HBO’s The Last of Us is based on the video game of the same name from Playstation and Naughty Dog. When the world is devastated by a global pandemic, hardened survivor Joel is tasked with ensuring the survival of Ellie, a 14-year-old girl who just may be the key to humanity’s survival.