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HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' Returns Down

The Steve Buscemi drama delivered 2.9 million viewers in its premiere telecast on Sunday.

Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO)
Abbot Genser/HBO
"Boardwalk Empire"

Boardwalk Empire returned to television this past Sunday, opening its second season down 8 percent from last season's average of 3.2 million.

Against Sunday night football, several broadcast premieres and baseball, HBO's Boardwalk Empire premiere delivered 2.9 million to its initial 9 p.m. telecast. To compare, Empire closed out its season to 3.3 million viewers last year. Empire launched last September to 4.8 million, HBO's largest audience for a series premiere in six years.

Including encores at 10 and 11 p.m., the Steve Buscemi-led Prohibition-era drama added 971,000 and 623,000 more viewers, respectively, to 4.5 million on Sunday.