The terrifying contaminated clickers aren’t the one face-offs that The Final of Us duo Joel and Ellie should deal with. The HBO post-apocalyptic drama’s Sunday evening time slot introduces a rankings battle, pitting the freshman sequence towards high-profile TV occasions such because the Grammys, Tremendous Bowl, and Academy Awards. With out citing any particular competing broadcast although, the community introduced on Feb. 5 that The Final of Us’ episode schedule is getting a little bit of a shake-up starting with Episode 5, which is able to hit HBO Max two days early on Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET.

HBO will nonetheless additionally air the season’s fifth installment on Sunday, Feb. 12 at its commonly scheduled 9 p.m. ET time, reverse Tremendous Bowl LVII. Shifting ahead, the rest of Season 1’s 9 complete episodes will proceed to air by March 12 — the identical day because the 2023 Oscars — with none gaps, HBO confirmed to Bustle.

Whereas it’s unclear if further episodes may even be out there to stream early, the community was seemingly bracing for a rankings hit, given the Tremendous Bowl’s traditionally huge viewership. (In 2022, for instance, the NFL’s large recreation attracted a median of greater than 112 million viewers throughout TV and streaming platforms.) Although The Final of Us Season 1 finale will go head-to-head with the 2023 Oscars, awards season may not pose as a lot of a menace, on condition that final 12 months’s ceremony drew a way more modest 16.6 million viewers. In the meantime, the 2023 Grammys, which aired on Feb. 5 reverse Melanie Lynskey’s debut episode, had no impact on HBO’s scheduling of their adaptation of the favored Naughty Canine online game.

In spite of everything, The Final of Us, which stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey and takes place 20 years after a Cordyceps outbreak destroyed fashionable civilization, already has spectacular viewership numbers. The present at present trails solely Home of the Dragon as HBO’s second-most considered sequence premiere in over a decade, and Season 1 was already averaging 21.3 million viewers by Episode 2. After the emotional third episode, which starred Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett as Invoice and Frank episode, introduced in a file 6.4 million stay viewers, the present notched yet one more milestone.

That could possibly be why HBO already renewed The Final of Us for Season 2. “I’m humbled, honored, and admittedly overwhelmed that so many individuals have tuned in and linked with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our unimaginable solid & crew, and HBO exceeded my already excessive expectations,” govt producer Neil Druckmann, who additionally created the sport, mentioned in a Jan. 27 assertion. “Now we have now absolutely the pleasure of having the ability to do it once more with season two! On behalf of everybody at Naughty Canine & PlayStation, thanks!”

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