This weekend, TV fans can have their The Last of Us and watch the Super Bowl too. To avoid scheduling conflicts, HBO announced that Episode 5 of its apocalyptic hit will premiere early on HBO Max and HBO On Demand on Friday at 9:00 PM ET ahead of airing at its usual time on Sunday at 9:00 PM ET. The Last of Us will return to its Sunday night schedule after this week.
The move signals just what a ratings boon the show is for the network. Viewership has been on the rise each week, up 22% from Episode 1 to Episode 2 and up another 12% from Episode 2 to Episode 3 — the latter drew in 6.4 million viewers. This is unprecedented among even the network’s other huge hits. House of the Dragon, for instance, saw a sharp decline in viewers between Episode 2 and Episode 3. It’s likely the network’s decision to avoid competition with the Super Bowl is to keep The Last of Us’s momentum going. So far, this is the only show that’s adjusting its scheduling to accommodate the Super Bowl.
Other notable programming happening concurrently includes:
Episode 6 of 1923 on Paramount+ also comes out on Sunday, but that will be available to stream starting at 3:00 AM ET on the service. Directly after the Super Bowl, Fox will air the premiere of Season 2 of Next Level Chef.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.
TOPICS: The Last of Us, HBO, HBO Max, Super Bowl