The Last of Us Scores Series-High Ratings With Episode 4

The Last of Us continues to click with audiences. HBO's live-action adaptation of the Naughty Dog and PlayStation video game set another series high with Sunday's episode 4, drawing 7.5 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts on HBO. In its third consecutive week of audience growth, The Last of Us viewership was up 17% from episode 3 on January 29th and 60% above the record-setting series premiere on January 15th, according to the network. The show, which scored an early second-season renewal after airing only two episodes, marked HBO's second-largest debut ever — behind only Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon — when it premiered last month to rave reviews.

Sunday's episode 4, titled "Please Hold My Hand," follows survivors Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) into post-apocalyptic Kansas City's quarantine zone, where the ruthless Kathleen's (Melanie Lynskey) rebel faction hunts brothers Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Wood). It's a detour on Joel and Ellie's road trip to Wyoming, where Joel's brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) will point them toward the Fireflies supposedly working on a cure for the fungal Cordyceps infection that's devastated the world.

Next, Episode 5 will stream early ahead of its linear premiere on HBO. Titled "Endure and Survive," the episode premieres Friday, February 10th, on HBO Max and HBO On Demand, a full two days before airing at its usual night and time on HBO on Super Bowl Sunday.

"Craig and Neil, alongside 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, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming, Head of HBO Drama Series and Films, said in a statement announcing The Last of Us season 2. "After pulling off this unforgettable first season, I can't wait to watch this team outshine themselves again with season two."

New episodes of The Last of Us premiere Sundays on HBO and HBO Max through the first season finale on March 12th. Follow for more The Last of Us on ComicBook.