The Last of Us is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for HBO. Based on the 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog, the series is set twenty years into a pandemic caused by a mass fungal infection, which causes its hosts to transform into zombie-like creatures and collapses society. The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler tasked with escorting the immune teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic United States.
Guest stars include Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah, Merle Dandridge as resistance leader Marlene, Anna Torv as Joel’s partner Tess, Gabriel Luna as Joel’s brother Tommy, Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Montreal Woodard as brothers Henry and Sam, and Melanie Lynskey and Jeffrey Pierce as resistance leader Kathleen and her second-in-command Perry.
The Last of Us was filmed throughout Alberta from July 2021 to June 2022. It is the first HBO series based on a video game, and is a joint production by Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Naughty Dog, the Mighty Mint, and Word Games. Druckmann, who wrote and co-directed the original game, assisted Mazin with scriptwriting for the nine episodes of the first season. The score was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed for the game, and David Fleming.
The Last of Us premiered on January 15, 2023. It received acclaim from critics, who praised the performances, writing, production design, and score; several called it the best adaptation of a video game. It was nominated for several awards, including 24 Primetime Emmy Awards. Across linear channels and HBO Max, the series premiere was watched by 4.7 million viewers on the first day—the second-biggest for HBO since 2010—and almost 40 million within two months; by May, the series averaged almost 32 million viewers per episode. In January 2023, it was renewed for a second season.