Euphoria season 2 is exactly what HBO Max needed in 2022

Zendaya in Euphoria season 2
(Image credit: HBO)

Euphoria season 2 is performing very, very well for HBO.  

According to figures first obtained by Deadline, the sophomore premiere of the Sam Levinson-created series drew 2.4 million viewers across all of HBO’s platforms on Sunday night – nine times more than Euphoria’s season 1 premiere, which aired in June 2019 via HBO Go and HBO Now. 

Although HBO Max-specific figures haven’t yet been provided by the broadcaster, HBO did reveal that the show’s second season debut was the most successful of any episode on the streamer since its launch in May 2020. 

For comparison, Succession – widely considered HBO’s most popular TV property – scored 1.4 million viewers across all HBO platforms with its season 3 debut back in October 2021, with the finale drawing an even larger 1.7 million. Both episodes were record-breaking for HBO Max. 

If Euphoria's second season maintains the same trajectory – Succession’s season 3 audience grew by 21% through a nine-episode run – its finale is on course to achieve a viewership of almost 3 million people.

Produced in partnership with A24, Euphoria is based on the Israeli series of the same name and follows Zendaya's Rue Bennett as she and a group of high school students struggle with pressures of love, drugs and social media in the modern age. 

Small screen success 

We recently published a report on the excellent year HBO Max enjoyed in 2021, which also detailed our skepticism towards whether the streamer could maintain its momentum in 2022.

Although Euphoria’s success hasn’t altogether washed away those concerns – without instant access to new movies in 2022, HBO Max is an objectively lower-value proposition – it has provided hope that HBO Max can maintain its challenge to rival streamers through industry-leading original programming.

HBO has long been considered the foremost producer of modern television thanks to critical, commercial and cultural hits like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Band of Brothers. Upcoming shows including House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, future seasons of Succession, Westworld and now Euphoria are well-positioned to continue that tradition, and may even be capable of enough heavy lifting to continue HBO Max’s impressive growth.

It’s unlikely that HBO Max will ever match Netflix and Disney Plus for audience share – both streamers boast much larger viewership figures than HBO’s platform, and are growing at a faster rate – but successes like Euphoria can ensure that HBO Max remains the thorn in the side of those streaming behemoths in 2022. 

Besides, numbers aren’t everything. By most accounts, shows like Succession and Euphoria prove that HBO still makes the best TV around. 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.