‘Boardwalk Empire’ Will End with Season 5

Published 1 year ago by

Michael K. Williams Steve Buscemi and Shea Wigham in Boardwalk Empire Season 4 Boardwalk Empire Will End with Season 5

After coming off what was arguably its best season to date, series creator Terrence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street) and HBO have decided they will bring the 1920s-set bootlegging drama Boardwalk Empire to its conclusion with season 5 this fall.

The announcement was made during the network’s TCA panel yesterday, during which it also announced the start dates of returning programs like Game of Thrones, Veep, and the sophomore season of Vice, as well as upcoming programs and movies such as Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers and The Normal Heart from American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy.

That announcement was then followed up when president of programming at HBO, Michael Lombardo very succinctly said: “It has been an incredible honor to bring this powerful and groundbreaking series to our subscribers. Terry Winter has created one for the ages.”

Bobby Cannavale in Boardwalk Empire A Man a Plan Boardwalk Empire Will End with Season 5

While there was no specific reason given for why the series was ending with season 5, it’s safe to say it wasn’t for lack of performance. Boardwalk Empire, though down somewhat in the ratings with season 4, was still a strong performer, as it came in behind the aforementioned Game of Thrones and the soon-to-be-ending True Blood, in terms of overall viewership. And while some of the larger awards eluded the series during its run, Bobby Cannavale did manage to pick up a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his portrayal of lunatic gangster Gyp Rosetti in season 3.

Oddly enough, Cannavale might wind up being one of the primary reasons Boardwalk is ending its run after five seasons.  Although there has been no official announcement yet, one of the prevailing theories as to why Winter and HBO came to such an amicable (and seemingly sudden) agreement on when to close out the show is that they are both eager to begin production on another period drama: The ’70s-set rock ‘n’ roll series Winter has cooked up with Boardwalk executive producer and Wolf of Wall Street director, Martin Scorsese, and producer Mick Jagger.

As reported, Cannavale has been linked to the lead role, in what was formerly titled History of Music, playing recording executive and lover of illicit things, Richie Finestra. With a leading man in negotiations, it’s understandable to think the project has become a primary concern for the network. At any rate, we’re awaiting information from HBO regarding the status of this program.

Without mentioning future plans, Winter had this to say about the decision to see his current series to the door:

We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire. After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.

boardwalk empire ratings Boardwalk Empire Will End with Season 5

For audiences, the primary concern now is how Winter and his creative team plan to wrap things up. At the end of season 4, Nucky (Steve Buscemi) was eager to throw in the towel, Eli (Shea Whigham) had been exiled to Chicago, and Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) retreated to Maryland to mourn his daughter and pick up the pieces of his business that’d been left in tatters, thanks in large part to Jeffrey Wright’s criminally good performance as Dr. Valentin Narcisse.

Though it’s rooted in history, and has to adhere to fact when it comes to certain characters like Al Capone (Stephen Graham), Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), and Gaston Bullock Means (Stephen Root), Winter is technically free to end many of the other stories in any way he sees fit. When you look at it, there are as many possible approaches as there are stories still needing to be wrapped up, so the scope of any potential final storyline will likely depend on how many episodes HBO orders.


Boardwalk Empire season 5 will air on HBO sometime in the fall.

Source: HBO

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  1. Hello, I have purchase broadwalk empire season 1, 2, and 3 I will be buying season 4 and 5 I love this show im sorry it had to end but wha happen to jimmy mother and little jimmy are they safe and who taken care of litte jimmy and did nucky get married again. Thank You anna

  2. “We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire. After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.”

    Well Mr Winter you are clearly leaving this “powerful” and “exciting” conclusion to the very last show!

  3. Feeling melancholy, with only one more episode to go. By far the best show on TV IMHO. Loved the characters, the costumes , sets, music, not to mention the superb acting. We can only hope now for some sort of spin off.

  4. Please don’t finish this show

    • I agree. HBO has taken a series at the height of it’s intrigue, and is canceling it for economic reasons. I plan on canceling HBO and switching to Netflicks. At least I can watch the reruns.

  5. I was so disappointed to hear that Boardwalk was in its last season, with fewer episodes than previous seasons, and was ending because it had been cancelled. I know that creating the sets and having to make it authentic for the period, along with all the clothing worn by the crew made it a very expensive and work intensive series. I know the show was popular so I think it’s safe to assume it wasn’t cancelled due to a lack of viewership. My guess is that it had to do with the time and expense involved and the profit margin may have been viewed as falling short of what they hoped for. Money is king. Too bad if that turns out to be the case.

  6. wow really so no more boardwalk empire i feel it left alot of blanks :-(
    hopefully they can show us a final cuts with everyone else also i didnt see how A.R died can someone tell me please thank you to you all fans im a big fan thanks :-)

    • God will punish you for that spoiler!!

    • SPOILER ALERT: They never showed what happened to him. Season 5 jumps seven years ahead from the end of season 4. The real Arnold Rothstein had been assassinated during the years, so the show had to have him gone as well. That’s why we only hear about his death and never see it. But I have to say the last season was a huge disappointment. To decide to end it now was a mistake to begin with, but to get only 8 episodes to end such a beloved show it kind of insulting. Especially with all the flashbacks, we hardly got any new story to satisfy our thirst for the same wonderful writing and acting we had come to love. Thanks a whole lot for almost nothing HBO.

      • Well said.

  7. i have watched n loved this show from the start, i have gotten my husband into it due the old style gangsters n bootlegging. i am very sad to know there is only 8 episodes n tht they end it this way. i cant believe they jumped ahead like tht. i got very confused n so didnt my husband almost like we missed something. i am not a very happy person to know they r have stoped, this will be sadly missed, i think they could have kept going with this n made it more just like true blood or something like tht… they had such a good story line..

  8. I have only just found out, that the ending is when Nucky gets shot. Very upset it is not going to season 6? Great show though.

  9. I watched the 5th and it was as great as the others. I would love to see a spin off of the show and watch Capo be and Luciano take over the the mob world. I think HBO is missing the boat and ending this great series. We were all sucked into the story of Nucke and his life.
    I don’t watch the other HBO series because they get a little slow and I lose interest.
    HBO get it together and give us more.