Boardwalk Empire Will End After Season 5

By Tim Surette

Jan 09, 2014

It looks like Boardwalk Empire's Nuck has run out. HBO has announced that the upcoming fifth season of the period drama will be its last, so chug 'em while you got 'em. It's sad news for Boardwalk Empire fans as the show recently wrapped up what many consider to be its finest season to date.

HBO didn't provide a specific reason for setting an end date, but it makes sense both creatively and financially. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm a big fan of shows ending after five or six seasons, with plenty of advance notice and on their own accord. It tightens things up, allows for a definitive ending, and minimizes the dragging-out of plots to the point where you're stuck turning your main character into a lumberjack after he sails into a monsoon on a fishing boat. 

And if you're HBO, the Emmy attention that Boardwalk Empire has earned is great, but it isn't the type of series that brings in flocks of subscribers. On average, Season 4 drew about two million viewers per episode; compare that to True Blood's four million and Game of Thrones' five-plus million (and wave of rabid fans), and you can see why Boardwalk Empire was expendable. I'd guess that HBO will consider launching Damon Lindelof's The Leftovers after the final season of Boardwalk in hopes that The Leftovers will take over as HBO's big fall series. 


What do you think of this timing? Where would you like to see the show in the now-final fifth season?


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  • al2sf Jan 11, 2014

    After a season that took it sweet time to put things in order for the next season, I'm a little dissapointed that it ends This quickly.
    I wanted to watch the big réunion of all the mobsters in Vegas, and more on Capone ascension.
    Don't get me wrong, I trust that Terence winter wil "bring the Story Home", I just feel that 6 seasons would have been better.
    But that's probably just the fan in me talking...

  • quickclean100 Jan 11, 2014

    well that's just sad! i was hoping this would play out a little longer and tell the story of Enoch L. Johnson right to the end. i doubt that will happen In the 1 season left :(

  • MarlboroMagpi Jan 10, 2014

    Season 4 was really good. Its kind of sad that season 5 will be the last. Nucky Thompson did not die til a very old age in real life so the story could have continue on even till season 6 or 7. Then we have Al Capone story which would be very interesting. I doubt it will happened at all but it would be really great news if they have an Al Capone spin off. A mini-series aka limited event would be wonderful and we can have the same guy Stephen Graham as the lead. He plays a wonderful Capone ! Small but scary!

  • kutupla Jan 12, 2014

    Agree with you! They could spin off the series with Al story

  • Malice_Unarmed Jan 10, 2014

    Really sad to see it go but least it will end on a high note, I kind of expected to see the show expand with Al Capone's exploits and the the rise of Lucky Luciano and all what he accomplished with the mob. Sad we won't see that fully realized. There's lots of room for spinoffs.

  • icebergx Jan 10, 2014

    Most shows run at least a season too long, some even more. It's all about squeezing every last dollar out of a show at the expense of the story. Lost is a perfect example. That should have been 3-4 "tight" season instead of the 7 season behemoth it turned out to be, full of filler episodes that contributed nothing to the overall story.
    I'm glad Homeland appears to have cut their 1st story to 3 seasons. There's nothing wrong with starting a new story, based around the same (or different) characters.

  • MrToohip Jan 10, 2014

    I think it is very savvy of the producers of Boardwalk Empire to make this decision. Recently we have seen shows that were kept on the air past their "expiration date", something that is has plagued TV for decades. Better to leave them wanting than become complacent.

    I can honestly say that I have never questioned the quality of one single episode of BE. The cast, the writing and the production values have always been exemplary. I am certain that Mr. Scorsese and Mr. Winter will reward our loyal viewership with a final season and series finale that will be first class.

  • YiWernYoong Jan 10, 2014

    its just nice :) a little sad that its ending but all good things come to an end

  • No1Slayerette Jan 10, 2014

    It's bittersweet news. Boardwalk Empire is one of those shows that you can see going on for many more years, and as others have said, history has plenty more material to provide from that era.

    But at the same time, Boardwalk also feels like a show that's been on for longer than five years. It established itself so definitively early on in its life that its characters and plots felt so refined as if the series had been on for some time. This isn't a bad thing, but unfortunately it makes the series' flaws more apparent, such as its sometimes slow pacing and stalling of plots and characters.

    Having one season to wrap everything up may be a challenge for the writers, but its better than nothing, and I'm hoping an end date will add some of that urgency and tension a well seasoned show can start to lack.

  • icebergx Jan 10, 2014

    Agree with this 100%.
    Never felt like there was any "filler" in any season with BE. I'm actually glad it's coming to an end and that it's not going to become a drawn-out, bloated story.

  • wudntulik2know Jan 10, 2014

    Smart. Too bad Dexter wasn't as smart as B/E. We might not have had the image of Dexter The Fucking Lumberjack burned into our brains.

  • Notusedname Jan 10, 2014

    In a way i think it is great, i Watch to many shows, and therefore have decided to start watching the show after it's cancellation. Now i know how to spend some of my vacation-time, and i am looking forward to it since i only have watched half of the first season and i liked it.

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