The Last of Us, a new HBO series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, has been renewed for a second season. This announcement comes shortly before the third episode of the series, which is based on the beloved video game of the same name from PlayStation.
The series was developed by Neil Druckmann, the creative director for the games created by the Naughty Dog studio, and Craig Mazin, who received praise for creating the outstanding 2019 HBO miniseries “Chernobyl.”
The Last of Us features Joel (Pascal), a grizzled survivor hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie (Ramsey) out of a restrictive quarantine zone, 20 years after the annihilation of modern civilization. What begins as a simple task quickly turns into a painful, horrific trip as they both must travel across the US and rely on one another to survive.
There aren’t many fantastic game adaptations, which makes The Last of Us very special. The series has been developed by Naughty Dog, the studio behind the equally fantastic “Uncharted” series, which makes very cinematic works, and most of what happens in The Last of Us is extracted quite authentically from the game’s numerous cut scenes. This is why it’s not entirely surprising that this is a successful adaptation.
HBO’s press release stated that The Last of Us premiere was the second-biggest series launch for the network, after only House of the Dragon‘s debut, and that the show’s viewership increased by more than 20% for the second episode.
The events of the 2013 video game with the same name are covered in the first season of HBO’s The Last of Us. That leaves The Last of Us Part 2 from Naughty Dog for season 2 of the program, with Mazin previously stating that the game sequel would require more than one season to be covered in a TV adaptation, raising the possibility of a third season.
“I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership,” executive producer Craig Mazin said in the news release, “and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey. 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.”
Episode two of the series has garnered positive reviews, with a 97% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 5.7 million viewers in the United States this past Sunday across HBO and HBO Max. This is the highest week two audience rise for any HBO drama series in the network’s history, up 22% from the 4.7 million viewers that watched the first episode. HBO claims that since its domestic premiere on January 15, episode one has attracted 22 million viewers.