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HBO renews Boardwalk Empire for second season; Premiere draws 4.8M viewers

HBO has renewed Boardwalk Empire for a second season after the show premiered to an impressive 4.8 million viewers on Sunday night. The debut episode was the largest premiere on the network since the March 2004 premiere of “Deadwood” (which had “The Sopranos” as lead-in):

“All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said Lombardo. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.”

Including repeats at 10:15 and 11:30 p.m., the episode was watched by a combined 7.1 million viewers.

The full press release is included after the jump.

HBO RENEWS BOARDWALK EMPIRE FOR SECOND SEASON

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21, 2010 – Following resounding critical approval and high viewer numbers for the series’ Sept. 19 debut, HBO has renewed BOARDWALK EMPIRE for a second season, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.

“All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said Lombardo. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.”

From Terence Winter, Emmy® Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos” and Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese, BOARDWALK EMPIRE is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States.

Among the early critical raves, People called the show “not-to-be-missed,” hailing Steve Buscemi’s “brilliant, brutally funny performance,” while USA Today observed that BOARDWALK EMPIRE “looks to be the season’s best new show on any outlet.” The Philadelphia Inquirer said the series “stands at the pinnacle of TV achievement,” with the New York Observer noting, “It’s really, really good.”

The Sept. 19 premiere of BOARDWALK EMPIRE averaged 4.8 million viewers during the 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) airing to score HBO’s largest premiere of any program in over six years (since March 21, 2004 – “Deadwood” with “The Sopranos” as lead-in). With additional plays at 10:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., BOARDWALK EMPIRE was watched by a combined 7.1 million viewers for the night.

Season one credits: Created by Terence Winter, BOARDWALK EMPIRE is executive produced by Terence Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg; co-executive producers, Gene Kelly and Lawrence Konner; producers (series), Rudd Simmons and Rick Yorn; producer (pilot), David Coatsworth; supervising producers, Howard Korder and Margaret Nagle.

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