“The Last of Us” Episode 8 has hit a series high with 8.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen and first party data.
Sunday’s penultimate episode also marked a 72% uptick from January’s series premiere, which brought in 4.7 million viewers across its linear and HBO Max platforms. The series premiere marked HBO’s second-largest debut behind “House of the Dragon” since “Boardwalk Empire” premiered on the network in 2010.
With the HBO series approaching an average audience of 30 million viewers for the first five episodes across platforms, “The Last of Us” also maintained its spot as the top title overall on HBO Max for the eighth consecutive week as each episode made it into the week’s top 10 individual slots.
The season’s third episode, which was lauded for its tender storytelling led by Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman, brought in 6.4 million viewers across platforms, which marked a 37% jump from the show’s premiere and a 12% increase from Episode 2.
Episode 8, titled “When We Are in Need,” introduces David, the pastor of a small Wyoming congregation, as the series prepares for its finale premiering Sunday, March 12.
Starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, the main cast of Season 1 includes Gabriel Luna, who plays Joel’s younger brother, Tommy; Anna Torv, who plays a smuggler named Tess; and Merle Dandrige, who reprises her role from the video game as resistance leader Marlene. The first season also features a wide slate of guest stars, including Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah, Bartlett and Offerman as Frank and Bill, Storm Reid as orphan Riley and Jeffrey Pierce as rebel Perry.
“The Last of Us” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Episodes 1-8 are available to stream on HBO Max.