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2 YEARS

'Boardwalk Empire' Returns With Even 2.9 Million Viewers

Packing three plays onto the evening schedule, before "Treme" joins next Sunday, the series equals its most recent opener.

Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Premiere Group - H 2012
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Boardwalk Empire continues to prove quite consistent in the ratings, pulling in the exact same numbers on Sunday night that it earned with its last season opener.

The season three premiere of Terence Winter's Prohibition-era New Jersey drama was watched by 2.9 million viewers during its inaugural 9 p.m. broadcast. The sophomore season opened to the same numbers.

STORY: Emmys 2012: 'Boardwalk Empire's' Michael Pitt on Saying Farewell to Jimmy

HBO aired the episode twice more, with a hole at 10 p.m. until Treme returns next week, pulling 4.6 million viewers across all three. It's a tough month to launch the series, with Sunday Night Football returning just last week and the Emmys airing on ABC this Sunday.

The haul is also a little shy of its recent finale. The December outing of Boardwalk Empire, which saw the surprise departure of Michael Pitt's character, was watched by 3 million viewers.

Boardwalk Empire still holds HBO's record for top drama premiere since 2008. Its first episode brought in a yet-to-be-matched 4.8 million viewers.