The post-plant apocalypse is as unstoppable in real life as it is on the show. After just two episodes, HBO has renewed The Last of Us for a second season, the network has announced.
The news isn’t entirely surprising; the show was the second-most watched debut in HBO history — behind last year’s House of the Dragon — and viewership for the second episode was even higher, jumping 22% from the previous week, a new record for network. According to HBO, total viewership of the first episode has passed 22 million, more than five times the number of people who watched live on the night of.
“I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey,” executive producer and co-creator Craig Mazin said in a statement. “The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.”
“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,” added Druckmann, who serves as co-creator on the show, in addition to having created the original video game. “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!”
The series, based on the Naughty Dog video game from 2013, follows Joel and Ellie as they cross the United States two decades after civilization as we know it has ended thanks to an infection that has transformed the majority of humanity into zombie-like creatures. (There’s some real life science to the story, surprisingly.) Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star as the two main characters, with Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, and Merle Dandridge also playing important roles.
The show’s first season is currently airing on HBO and HBO Max Sunday nights.