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HBO renews The Last of Us for a second season

Get ready for The Last of Us Part 2

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Ellie and Tess crouch facing each other in the grass that has overtaken a decrepit building as light shines in from above in the HBO series The Last of Us. Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The Last of Us is already shaping up to be one of the best TV shows of 2023, a natural evolution from a video game borrowing the style of prestige TV to prestige TV borrowing the style of a video game. And HBO seems to think so too — The Last of Us will return for a second season, the network announced Friday.

According to HBO’s news release, The Last of Us’ premiere was the company’s second-biggest launch of a series, behind only House of the Dragon’s debut, and the show’s audience grew by more than 20% for the second episode. The third episode of The Last of Us, “Long Long Time,” premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. EST. (And if you’re on the fence about the series but don’t have an HBO Max subscription, HBO has made the first episode of The Last of Us available for free on the streaming service.)

“I’m so grateful to [The Last of Us co-creator] Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership,” executive producer Craig Mazin said in the news release, “and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey. 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.”

The first season of HBO’s The Last of Us covers the events of the 2013 video game of the same name. That leaves Naughty Dog’s 2020 sequel, The Last of Us Part 2, for season 2 of the show — and, with Mazin having previously said that the game sequel would take more than one season to cover in a TV adaptation, a potential for a third season.

The Last of Us Part 2 sees Ellie largely succeed Joel as the game’s main character, which is great news for Bella Ramsey! We’re confident that Pedro Pascal will find something to keep himself busy with.