HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ to End After Fifth Season

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.

More TV

  • THE BLACKLIST -- "Cornelius Ruck (#155)"

    'The Blacklist' Bosses on 'Clue' Inspiration for Standalone Whodunnit Episode

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Cornelius Ruck (No. 155),” the 12th episode of “The Blacklist” Season . Viewers that needed a bit of a respite from the real world on Friday night probably embraced the light-hearted nature of “The Blacklist’s” “Cornelius Ruck” episode, a concluding installment to the previous week’s [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]


    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Steven Universe Series Finale

    The Radical Empathy of 'Steven Universe' (Column)

    The last epic battle of “Steven Universe” isn’t one between friends and foes, but between Steven Universe and himself. After six years and nearly 200 episodes, both the show and character took the time to ask themselves some crucial, existential questions: What happens to a hero after they’ve already saved the day? Who is Steven [...]

  • A view of the stage at

    Television Academy's Emmy Calendar Shift Lauded by Networks, Studios and Streamers

    The Television Academy’s decision to push back this year’s Emmy Awards voting calendar, and eliminate officially sanctioned campaign events, was applauded on Friday by many network, streamer and studio execs — several of whom had been asking the org to do such a thing. “People are happy they acknowledged the situation,” one network exec said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content