Boardwalk Empire, the Martin Scorsese-directed/executive-produced crime drama series, aired its first episode on Sunday night and promptly revitalized HBO's fortunes. Its surprise 7.1 million viewers was far beyond most expectations and the best series premiere for the network since 2004's Deadwood.
HBO will continue airing the episode throughout the week, which some experts believe may help it eventually set a record for a premiere episode at the network. Meanwhile, executives have already ordered a second season of the prohibition drama.
While none of us at Nerve have seen the premiere yet, we are certainly excited by a critical rating of 88 out of 100 from Metacritic and advance reviews that describe the show as getting "better and better with each episode." Plus, this cast is extremely appealing: Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald (from Trainspotting), Michael Shannon (aka God), Michael Stuhlbarg (from A Serious Man), Paz de la Herta, Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar on The Wire) and even Dabney Coleman.
Sure, we were plenty excited about Treme, which turned out to be a dull and uninvolving story geared mainly toward New Orleans fanatics (and that's coming from a New Orleans fanatic), but we still believe in HBO.
If you don't get HBO, at least there's this timelapse video of a crew building the 1920s Atlantic City on a waterfront lot in Brooklyn.