HBO has announced that Boardwalk Empire has been renewed for a fifth and final season, which is set to premiere sometime this fall. No episode order has been released as of yet, but each of the first four seasons consisted of 12 episodes.
“We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire,” said series creator Terence Winter. “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.”
Although there had been talk of a six-season plan for the series, the most important thing about a show ending, especially one that has a firmly established viewing audience and place on its network like Boardwalk does, is that it goes out on its own terms. As much as fans of the show would like to be immersed in the world of Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Thompson, former federal agent Nelson Van Alden, and increasingly ambitious Chicago mobster Al Capone for season upon season, year upon year, if the creative team behind the show feels as if they’ve reached the end of the line, it’s better to end the show than to run on fumes due to the show’s critical and commercial success.
Last season, Boardwalk Empire averaged 7.5 million cumulative viewers per week, keeping it as one of the network’s most-watched original programs. The series earned five Emmy awards this past September, the most of any series on television, including an award for Bobby Cannavale’s performance as Gyp Rosetti, season three’s primary villain. Additionally, season four received strong critical notices for the increased emphasis on Michael Kenneth Williams’ Chalky White and the addition of acclaimed Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Valentin Narcisse, a character based on New York mobster Casper Holstein.
Do you think that Boardwalk Empire should be wrapping up right now? Since the show is going out on its own terms, what are you expecting from the final season? What type of drama would you like to see assume Boardwalk‘s mantle come fall 2015?