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‘The Last of Us’ finale will compete with the Oscars for views

‘The Last of Us’ is gunning to maintain its viewership despite airing at the same time as the Oscars on Sunday

Fan theories for 'The Last of US' season finale

It would seem that HBO is highly confident in its shows, and this is no more evident than in the decision to air the finale of one of the network’s biggest shows this year, ‘The Last of Us’ during the Oscars.

Episode four of the series previously aired during the Grammys and didn’t miss a beat, maintaining its viewership. But episode five moved for the Super Bowl, with HBO moving its premiere date from Sunday, February 12 to Friday, February 10.

Low viewership of award shows leaves HBO hopeful viewers will still tune in

As of Wednesday, HBO has made no announcement that it plans to move the date for ‘The Last of Us’ finale, with episode nine ‘Look for the Light’ set to premiere at the same time the 95th Academy Awards will be airing.

But HBO may not have a reason to worry. Ratings and viewership for the award show, which honors the best in film, from acting to all aspects of the filmmaking process, have been on a decline.

After Will Smith’s historic slapping of Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars, the moment helped the award show climb out of a low viewership slump, which saw it rise 56%, from 10.5 million viewers in 2021 to 15.4 million in 2022. In 2020 the viewership reached 23.6 million but marked the award show’s second-lowest viewership ever.

The award show once saw anywhere from 40 to 55 million viewers. Nine years ago, the show garnered 40 million viewers. Its highest-ever viewership was in 1998, with roughly 57 million viewers tuning in to watch as James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ won 11 Oscars.

The Academy Awards organizers have tried to rectify the now lagging viewership with new ideas, such as creating a new Best Popular Film award in 2019 that was soon canceled. They also tried a Twitter hashtag, asking users to vote on their favorite movie, which wouldn’t win an Oscar, but would be recognized during the award show.

‘The Last of Us’ viewership is growing steadily

‘The Last of Us’ has generally maintained its viewership numbers. Episode 8 which premiered last Sunday, earned the series’ highest viewership since premiering in January, with 8.1 million viewers.

The season one finale will premiere on Sunday, March 12, at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT, on HBO Max and other platforms that offer HBO.


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