Raise a glass and pour some illegally procured booze into it, because HBO has ordered a fourth season of Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire. The decision comes three episodes into the show's third season and just over a week after it grabbed four Emmys, the biggest of which was a directing nod for Tim Van Patten. In 2011, the show won eight Emmy awards.
Though HBO programming president Michael Lombardo praised the show in the required press release, the drama isn't exactly the smash the network hoped it would be. HBO estimates the total viewers for the Season 3 premiere came in at around 7.2 million viewers across all platforms and DVR numbers, down from the 8.6 million viewers per episode average the show maintained last season. And in terms of buzz, the big-budget Boardwalk Empire trails HBO hits Game of Thrones and True Blood by a lot. Heck, you could even argue that Girls has more of the media's attention than Boardwalk Empire does.
But a familiar name at Emmys time and 7 million viewers means HBO has no reason to cut things off anytime soon. And come on... Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, and tons of incredible supporting actors? The show should be good for at least a few more seasons. If HBO is willing to keep Treme around for four seasons, Boardwalk Empire should be good for six.