HBO has long been viewed as a reliable source for quality storytelling on television. Thanks to hit comedies like Sex and the City and The Larry Sanders Show as well as award-winning dramas like The Sopranos and Deadwood, the network has developed a reputation for providing a home to television series that are too graphic or edgy for traditional networks.
In the last couple of years, for example, HBO has introduced a number of high-profile shows on its current schedule, including Game of Thrones, The Newsroom (also recently renewed for another season) and Veep. All three have received critical acclaim and numerous honors, and while the network has recently begun lining up its next round of new programs (including Damon Lindelof's post-Rapture drama The Leftovers), it has just announced that yet another one of its hit shows will be returning for another round.
HBO has officially renewed Boardwalk Empire for season 5. The news follows soon after the show'sfourth season premiere and its five Emmy wins, including a Best Supporting Actor statuette for star Bobby Cannavale. Despite a slight decline in ratings, Boardwalk Empire performs well for HBO, earning about 7.5 million viewers, including original broadcasts, encore airings, digital recordings and streaming videos over the HBO GO service.
Boardwalk Empire's renewal isn't that surprising, considering the widespread acclaim and solid viewership the Steve Buscemi led series has received since its 2010 premiere. With True Blood currently in its final season and several unproven pilots on the way, it's easy to see why HBO might be reluctant to truncate any of its current hit shows at the moment.
Set in Prohibition-era Atlantic City, Boardwalk Empire follows corrupt political figure Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Buscemi) and has essentially filled the crime drama void left in HBO's schedule following the 2007 conclusion of The Sopranos. The series' distinctive visual style, promising setup and strong ensemble cast (which also includes Man of Steel's Michael Shannon) could provide several more seasons of intriguing drama. Collectively, the show – which began with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese – has received 17 Emmy Awards and 40 nominations, including two for Best Drama Series.
Are you excited about the prospect of more Boardwalk Empire? What would you like to see happen in season 5? Sound off in the comments below.
Boardwalk Empire airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.