HBO and WarnerMedia haven’t been shy about calling The Last of Us a success, so it’s no surprise that they’re willing to continue the series. According to various reports online, HBO has decided to renew The Last of Us for Season 2, just weeks after the first season premiered on January 15, 2023, with its first episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” now free to watch online via HBO Max. Many have begun speculating that the second season will be based on The Last of Us Part II, which introduced new characters to the franchise, including Abby Anderson, a secondary protagonist that the player could control in addition to Ellie Williams.
“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,” said executive producer Neil Druckmann, who was the writer and creative director of the original 2013 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!”
“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,” said executive producer and showrunner Craig Mazin. “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.”
From a Variety report:
The move to renew the series comes as little surprise, as it has been a hit with both critics and audiences. In addition to strong reviews to the tune of a 97% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, episode two reached 5.7 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. this past Sunday. That represents a 22% jump over the 4.7 million who tuned into the first episode, marking the largest week two audience growth for any HBO drama series in the history of the network. Furthermore, HBO now says that episode one has reach 22 million viewers domestically since it debuted on Jan. 15.