10:09am PT by Michael O'Connell
HBO Renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for Fourth Season
Three weeks into its latest run, HBO has given the green light to another season of Boardwalk Empire.
Already premiering to 2.9 million viewers in September -- and since netting 7.2 million gross viewers for the episode -- the series is on track to match last season's 8 million average and will return to the cable network in 2013.
“Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their outstanding team continue to produce a stunning show that never fails to surprise and entertain,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “We are excited to bring this unique series back for a fourth season.”
The Prohibition-era New Jersey drama, created by Terence Winter, has been a consistent performer for the network, posting the same premiere ratings two years running. Against increased broadcast and cable competition, Sunday's broadcast opened to 2.4 million viewers and a 0.9 rating with adults 18-49.
Boardwalk Empire has nabbed critical approval and several big awards since premiering in 2010. It has won 12 Emmys, including three last month, and took the Golden Globes for best drama series in its first year of eligibility.
Production on the fourth season will start in New York on a yet-to-be-announced date.