Season 2 of HBO Original series The Last of Us announced.

The series of co-creators Craig Mazin (Emmy Award-winning creator of HBO series Chernobyl) and Neil Drukmann (creator and writer of the award-winning The Last of Us game franchise and Naughty Dog Co-President) is HBO’s second most-watched premiere, second only to House of the Dragon streamed more. The first episode already has more than 22 million viewers in the US, almost 5x more than the regular premiere night audience.

Episode 2 of THE LAST OF US had 5.7 million viewers on HBO Max and linear television broadcasts in the US on Sunday night, adding more than a million new viewers from the series’ premiere. This 22% jump marks the biggest week two growth for an HBO Original series in the network’s history.

THE LAST OF US was also a hit on social media, the series was the No. 1 trending topic worldwide during the series debut. To date, the season one teasers and trailers have garnered over 100 million views worldwide.

Season 2 of HBO Original series The Last of Us announced

“Craig and Neil, along with EP Carolyn Strauss, and the rest of our phenomenal cast and crew, have defined a genre with their masterful debut season of THE LAST OF US” – Francesca Orsi, EVP, HBO Programming, Head of HBO Drama Series and Movies. “After this unforgettable first season, I can’t wait to see this team outdo themselves again with Season 2.”

“I am honored and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have watched and connected to our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. Working with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast and HBO exceeded my already high expectations,” said Neil Druckmann, Executive Producer. “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!”

Season 2 of HBO Original series The Last of Us announced

“I am so grateful for the collaboration with Neil Druckmann and HBO. I am even more thankful for the millions of people who have joined us on this journey,” – Craig Mazin, Executive Producer. “The audience has given us the opportunity to continue, and as a fan of the characters and the world that Neil and Naughty Dog have created, I am ready to dive back in.”

THE LAST OF US is set in the USA, 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is employed to smuggle 14-year-old girl Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of a quarantine zone. What starts as a small job quickly turns into a brutal and heartbreaking journey where they must cross the US together and depend on each other to survive.

Season 2 of HBO Original series The Last of Us announced

Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence. Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker also appear in the series.

With a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, THE LAST OF US has been named “HBO’s next big hit” by Rolling Stone, with Variety noting that “one sees the near future in which the show winds up among television’s best.” IndieWire declared the new series “better than every video game adaptation that comes to mind,” with IGN hailing it as “a brilliant retelling of one of video games’ most beloved stories” and adding that it “delivers an enriching show for fans of the PlayStation hit, while also managing to stay welcomingly thrilling to newcomers.” CNN called the story “absolutely fearless and unflinching, creating horrifying scenarios and moments that can be alternately touching and utterly tragic.”

Season 2 of HBO Original series The Last of Us announced

New episodes of the series will premiere Monday morning on HBO Max, leading up to the March 13 finale. Fans can also tune into The Last of Us Podcast, the series’ official podcast where host Troy Baker, who plays Joel in the video game, sits down with series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for a debriefing of each episode. Based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation platforms®, THE LAST OF US is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and is produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan and Rose Lam. Production companies: PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint and Naughty Dog