HBO announces fifth season of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ will be its last

HBO has announced that the upcoming fifth season of “Boardwalk Empire,” set to premiere this fall, will be the period gangster drama’s last.

“It has been an incredible honor to bring this powerful and groundbreaking series to our subscribers,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement released at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Terry Winter has created one for the ages.”

“We”re thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of ‘Boardwalk Empire,’” added Winter, the show’s creator. “After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we”ve decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.”

The recently-concluded fourth season was arguably the best one so far, thanks in part to the introduction of Jeffrey Wright as smooth-talking Dr. Valentin Narcisse, an increased focus on Michael Kenneth Williams’ Chalky White and strong storytelling over in the Chicago portion of the series. And Winter has talked in the past about having at least a decade’s worth of material to cover, inspired by the career of the real Nucky Johnson and the wiseguys he worked with. But I can also see him wanting to end the show before it wears out its welcome, especially since he has so many other projects going on, including a period drama about rock ‘n roll (starring “Boardwalk” season 3 baddie Bobby Cannavale) that he’s producing with Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

And because he ultimately decided to do a fictional version of Nucky, rather than a biopic about the real man, he’s free to end the series any way he likes, even if he has to be faithful to history with the fates of other characters like Al Capone and Arnold Rothstein.

What does everybody else think? Are you sad we’re only getting one more season, or would you rather say goodbye too soon rather than too late?