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HBO isn’t going to let the Super Bowl tackle the ratings momentum of The Last of Us.
The network will make its next episode of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic series available two days early to get ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
Episode five will be available on HBO Max and HBO On Demand starting this Friday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. ET. The linear telecast on the HBO cable network will still air on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. ET. This gets the latest adventure of Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) to viewers well ahead of the big game Sunday which has the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
The show has been on a creative and ratings roll, with its most recent third episode, “Long Long Time,” generating widespread praise for its portrayal of a gay couple’s relationship across 20 years after a deadly Cordyceps pandemic.
The episode continued the show’s ratings climb, bringing in 6.4 million cross-platform viewers, up from 5.7 million the previous week and 4.7 million for its Jan. 15 premiere. The show is averaging more than 15 million viewers across all platforms and has been renewed for a second season.
The Last of Us is based on the video game by Naughty Dog and creator Neil Druckmann, who also serves as showrunner with creator Craig Mazin on the HBO drama. There are nine episodes in the debut season.
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