The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Boardwalk Empire set ratings records Sunday night. In addition, the show has already been picked up for a second season after airing only one episode.
HBO’s critically acclaimed “Boardwalk Empire” delivered a big surprise in the ratings — and the network quickly rewarded the drama with a second-season order.
The Sunday night premiere was the premium network’s most-watched premiere of any program in six years — since “Deadwood” in 2004. Adding two additional repeats, the “Boardwalk” number rose to a combined 7.1 million viewers.
Shortly after the ratings were revealed, HBO announced a second-season pickup.
“All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.”
Despite the reviews, performance expectations were modest for the Prohibition-era gangster drama. Many analysts expected the 1920s setting to turn off viewers and the show to draw a “Mad Men”-sized number.
Personally, I thought the first episode was fantastic. It looks like it is going to be a great show and I hope it enjoys a long run.