Boardwalk Empire Will End After Season 5

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?