In one of the least surprising series pick-ups to date, HBO has given a greenlight to Martin Scorsese’s “Boardwalk Empire.”
According to Variety, HBO has ordered 11 episodes of the period drama, which was created by “Sopranos” veteran Terrence Winter and piloted by Scorsese.
Set in the 1920s Atlantic City, “Boardwalk Empire” stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Johnson, a businessman and Prohibition rum runner. The pilot also stars Michael Shannon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Dabney Coleman, Kelly Macdonald and Michael Pitt.
In addition to Winter and Scorsese, executive producers include Mark Walhberg and Stephen Levinson, plus Tim Van Patten, another “Sopranos” veteran.
HBO has yet to announce a premiere date, but “Boardwalk Empire” is expected to be on the air sometime next year.
At HBO’s Television Critics Association press tour session last month, executives wouldn’t announce a formal pick-up, but their optimism was evident.
“We are anxiously awaiting a cut from Mr. Scorsese so we can green light the series,” said Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president, programming group and West Coast operations. We are set up to get going again in September. But we”re waiting to get a cut of the pilot. By everything we”ve seen, it”s fantastic. It”s big. It”s everything we hoped it would be. It”s a tremendous cast with a tremendous writer… And really, a master director. So we”re very hopeful, very excited, and our fingers are crossed.”