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HBO to release ‘The Last of Us’ episode early ahead of Super Bowl Sunday – Chicago Tribune

Super Bowl viewers don’t have to be the last of us to see Sunday’s episode of “The Last of Us.”

HBO is releasing the next installment of its hit post-apocalyptic drama two days early on its streaming platforms, since the show’s usual Sunday night time slot conflicts with Super Bowl LVII this week.

That fifth episode will hit HBO Max and HBO on Demand at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, February 10, according to HBO. For fans who don’t have those streaming platforms, the episode will still run on HBO at its usual time slot of 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 12.

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in "The Last of Us."

“The Last of Us” follows two survivors, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), on a cross-country trek through a U.S. ravaged by a fungal pandemic. the story takes place 20 years after the downfall of modern civilization. Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) developed the series alongside Neil Druckmann, who created the PlayStation video game of the same name.

The supporting cast of the HBO series includes Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill and Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen.

“The Last of Us” has been a hit with viewers and critics alike, with a 97-percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 91-percent average audience score. The show’s third episode, “Long, Long Time,” was a particular favorite, with Culturess critic Lauren Coates calling that installment an “instant classic: an intimate portrait of love and tenderness in even the direst of situations.”

In an aerial view of State Farm Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. State Farm Stadium will host the NFL Super Bowl LVII on February 12.

The show, which debuted with HBO’s second most-watched series premiere of the last decade, has also been improving in ratings. More than 4 million viewers tuned into that first episode, 5.7 million watched episode 2, and 6.4 million were there for episode 3, per Variety. Plus, Warner Bros. Discovery touted last week that an average of 21.3 million viewers had watched the first two episodes of “The Last of Us” across all platforms.

HBO also gave the show an early season 2 renewal, ordering another chapter of the drama on January 27, after only two episodes had aired.

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