Most video game fans are likely very aware the entertainment industry has historically had some trouble turning popular titles into movies or television shows that are able to do the source material justice.
However, based on what we’ve seen over the course of the first four episodes, it would appear HBO has finally managed to break that curse thanks to its adaptation of The Last of Us.
The hype surrounding the pilot based on the zombie-adjacent hit that debuted on the PS3 in 2013 helped the network secure one of its biggest debuts in more than a decade.
The Last of Us was not only able to retain those initial viewers but has seen its ratings grow week after week as it has quickly become the closest thing to Appointment Television the world has seen since Game of Thrones.
It seemed like there was a solid chance those numbers would take a big hit if the fifth episode aired in its 9 P.M. slot next Sunday, as there’s only so much the most prestigious example of Prestige TV can do to take on the yearly ratings behemoth that is the Super Bowl.
Thankfully, fans of the show won’t be forced to choose between The Last of Us and The Big Game.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has made the wise decision to (technically) push the premiere of the fifth episode a couple of days early, as it will be available to stream on HBO Max at 9 P.M. EST on Friday, February 10 (it will still air on the network for the first time on Sunday night).
It seems like this will be the only episode impacted by another event; the finale will go head-to-head with the Academy Awards on March 12, but HBO seems confident it will still be able to lure in viewers that night when you consider it was aware that would be the case when it scheduled the first season.