'The Last of Us': The apocalyptic hit of 2023

4 April, 2023

The TV landscape is more diverse than ever, with an incredible range of shows catering to all tastes and demographics. As we reflect on the first quarter of the year, we can look back at what drew audiences' attention during that period.

The quarter was marked by the release of HBO’s big hit The Last of Us, and the show has been making waves since its release in January. According to Parrot Analytics data, the show had 45.4 times more demand than the average title in the first quarter of 2023, which means it had more demand than 99.8% of the TV shows.  The high production value of the show, combined with the growing popularity of post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories in pop culture and the size of the existing fan base of the video game contributed to the huge impact of the show.

The Last of Us is not only riding the wave of the demand for apocalyptic shows but is also driving its growth. The demand for apocalyptic shows grew impressively between the beginning of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021 but stalled after September 2021, when it seemed that the audience had started losing interest for these kind of content due to some fatigue of the theme after one and a half years of a global pandemic. However, after flatlining in 2022, the demand for apocalyptic shows is soaring again 2023, mainly driven by the HBO show. If we compare with January 2020, the demand for the genre is 60% higher in in March 2023, after the release of the episodes of the first season.


The gap between The Last of Us and the other shows released in 2023 is impressive. Velma, the second most in-demand series that has premiered so far this year has less than half the demand of the top one. This show is followed closely by the crime drama Poker Face, Peacock’s most succesful show this year. 

The remaining shows in the ranking come from a range of genres: Daisy Jones & the Six a musical drama, Trigun Stampede an Anime, Shrinking a family drama, Bebefinn a children’s show, Boys Planet a Korean reality show, The Ark a sci-fi drama, and Night Court (2023) a reboot of the classic sitcom.


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