Hot on the heels of its third season debut just weeks ago, it was announced today that HBO is ready to bet on "Boardwalk Empire" for a fourth season.
“Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their outstanding team continue to produce a stunning show thatnever fails to surprise and entertain,” said HBO's president of programming Michael Lombardo. “We are excited to bring this unique series back for a fourth season.”
The press release cites the series' great critical acclaim and continually strong ratings as key to the network's decision to keep the series going. In addition to its numerous awards (including Emmys for Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Art Direction), the Boston Globe has hailed its "dazzling production" and "knockout performances" by Steve Buscemi and the rest of the ensemble cast, while Variety dubs it "as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV."
Ratings-wise, the series shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Last season average 8.6 million viewers per episode, while the first episode of this third season has accumulated 7.2 million viewers altogether, from its initial broadcast, reruns and also through on-demand outlets like HBO Go.
It certainly seems like the trials of Nucky Thompson are only getting to the good parts, especially in light of the sea change wrought by the killing off of main character Jimmy Darmody in last season's finale. The only person I feel bad for is William Forsythe, who left a promising role with no possibility of returning (unless you can fix a shotgun wound to the face) for what looks to be a dud in "The Mob Doctor."