The series from co-creators Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (creator and writer of the The Last of Us game series) marks HBO’s second largest debut, behind only 2022's House of the Dragon.
The series stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (both known for their work in fellow HBO mega-hit Game of Thrones) as smuggler Joel and 14-year-old Ellie, survivors in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a deadly fungal outbreak. Gabriel Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Anna Torv (Mindhunter) and Nico Parker (The Third Day) also star in the first season.
In a statement, Druckmann (who is also co-president of Naughty Dog, the developer behind the original games) expressed his joy at the series' positive response and subsequent renewal;
“I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations [...] Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”
Episode 1 of The Last of Us has now surpassed 22 million viewers domestically, while Episode 2 scored 5.7 million viewers (across HBO Max and linear telecasts in the U.S.), adding more than 1 million new viewers then tuned in for the series premiere. With such impressive viewing figures, a second season renewal seemed like a no-brainer. What also seems likely - although not yet confirmed - is that the second season will tell the story of The Last of Us Part II, the 2020 sequel to the original game.
New episodes of The Last of Us Season 1 air on HBO and stream on HBO Max on Sunday nights, with the finale scheduled for March 12, 2023. No date has been set yet for Season 2, so there's still plenty of time to start speculating on who exactly is going to play Abby...