Boardwalk Empire Ratings Down

Pay cabler also plans to air Lisa Cholodenko miniseries 'Olive Kitteridge' later this year

The end of the “Boardwalk” is approaching.

HBO announced at its Television Critics Assn. press tour session in Pasadena Thursday that “Boardwalk Empire,” the 1920s period drama top lined by Steve Buscemi, will come to a close at the end of its fifth season, which is slated to debut this fall.

Also Thursday, HBO unveiled confirmed plans to air a miniseries directed by Lisa Cholodenko, “Olive Kitteridge,” later this year.

“Boardwalk” has been a key player in the recent history of HBO. The show’s 2010 debut came on the heels of a series of disappointments for the network following the end of the groundbreaking “Sopranos” in 2007.

The series, created by “Sopranos” alum Terence Winter and championed by Martin Scorsese (who directed the pilot), has been overshadowed during its run by buzzier shows such as “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men,” but “Boardwalk” nonetheless has been an internal favorite of HBO brass.

“It has been an incredible honor to bring this powerful and groundbreaking series to our subscribers,” said HBO programming prez Michael Lombardo. “Terry Winter has created one for the ages.”

“We’re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ ” said 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.”

The series, which marked Scorsese’s first series directing and producing effort for the small screen, debuted on HBO in 2010 and has earned numerous Emmy and Golden Globe awards during the past four seasons. It is exec produced by Winter, Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Tim Van Patten and Howard Korder.

Scorsese recruited Winter to script “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which has both of them on the awards trail this year. Winter is also developing a series for HBO set in the 1970s rock scene, also with Scorsese. That project, tentatively titled “The Long Play,” is also exec produced by Mick Jagger.

“Olive Kitteridge” is based on Elizabeth Stout’s book of the same name about a small town in New England rife with crime, tragedy and illicit affairs. Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Bill Murray lead the cast. Jane Anderson adapted the script for Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone banner.

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