Tuesday, June 25, 2024

HBO’s Water Cooler Show, “The Last of Us,” Having Trouble Holding a Consistent Audience


The people who watch HBO’s “The Last of Us,” love it. It’s a water cooler show even though no one’s in an office and there are no water coolers. But you get my drift!

Still. “The Last of Us” is having trouble getting a consistent audience. On the HBO linear channel at 9pm this week, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey somehow got from Boston to Texas to find Joel’s brother and his wife (Gabriel Luna and Rutina Wesley). Total viewers was 841,000.

The prior week, the numbers dropped to just 382,000. But that was because of the Super Bowl, which had 110 million fans tuned in. Whether fans found “Last of Us” on delayed viewing we don’t know. The prior week, before the Super Bowl, was way up to 991,000. So the Super Bowl did manage to dent the show’s ratings.

One reason for all this may be the lack of regular supporting players. From week to week, Joel and Ellie travel around and meet various new people. Often those people wind up dead at the end of the episode. There’s no secondary story line, so there’s no one else for the audience to attach themselves to. When awards time comes, no one will be eligible for supporting actor nominations. Just lots of guest actors.

In a strange way, “Last of Us” has turned into an anthology show, much like the other beloved new show, “Poker Face.” Difference is the latter is streaming only, so there are no ratings. But I’m sure there are millions coming from HBO Max for “Last of Us.”

Meantime, some of us are hooked.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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