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‘The Last of Us’ scores HBO’s second-biggest debut ever


The Last of Us, HBO’s adaptation of the hit post-apocalyptic PlayStation game video series, is off to a smashing start.

The show, which stars The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal and his former fellow Game of Thrones veteran Bella Ramsey, posted the cable network’s second-largest debut ever on Sunday night. The first episode, which ran around an hour and 20 minutes, drew 4.7 million viewers on both the network and its streaming service, HBO Max — an audience second only to the opener of its Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon.

As in the game, the series has Pascal playing Joel, a mourning father tasked with taking a special girl named Ellie, played by Ramsey, out of the Quarantine Zone and through an America devastated by a fungal pandemic that essentially turns people into zombies.

HBO also touted that The Last of Us scored on social media as well, trending at #1 on Twitter Sunday night. Moreover, teasers and trailers scared up more than 100 million viewers globally. The show is also currently enjoying a 99% score on the ratings aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could,” said Executive Producers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann in a statement. “We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The Last of Us into their homes and their hearts.”

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