Following HBO’s second-biggest series premiere in over a decade, the second episode of The last of us now breaks some big records. Last night’s second episode, “Infected,” drew 5.7 million viewers on HBO and Sunday night linear broadcasts, a number that’s 22 percent more than last week’s series debut, according to data from Nielsen and first party. This is the largest Week 2 viewership growth for an HBO Original drama series in network history. In addition, the series premiere now has 18 million viewers, which is almost four times the audience on the premiere night.
“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and game alike experience this iconic story in a new way, and thank them for helping make it a success,” Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO & HBO Max Content said last week after the show’s initial success. “Congratulations to Craig, Neil and the brilliant cast and crew who have worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. We look forward to watching fans around the world enjoy the rest of the season.”
“Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for the widest possible audience,” said executive producers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “We are thrilled to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The last of us in their homes and their hearts.”
The last of us also sees an increase in streams for Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again”
It’s not just The last of us which has been very popular since its debut on HBO last week. Music from the series is also a hit with audiences, most notably Depeche Mode’s 1987 song, “Never Let Me Down Again”. The song, a single from the album, Music for the Masses, was featured in the series premiere as part of coded messages. Since its use in the episode, the number of plays on the song has more than tripled in on-demand US streams, with an increase of 220.5 percent overnight.
For more The last of us content, check out ComicBook and Entertainment Tonight’s new podcast: The Last of Pods. The podcast features breakdowns of each episode, interviews with special guests from the show, and more. The last of us airs every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. Eastern, with The Last of Pods debuting immediately after each show.