That was quick: HBO is serving up a second helping of its latest breakout hit, Boardwalk Empire.

On Tuesday, the network announced that it has renewed its new prohibition-era drama for a second season just one episode out of the can, MediaWeek.com dishes. The show’s $18 million Martin Scorcese-directed pilot garnered 4.8 million viewers on Sunday to become HBO’s most-watched series premiere since Deadwood drew in 5.79 million views on March 24, 2004.

Boardwalk — which stars Steve Buscemi as 1920’s Atlantic City political boss Enoch “Nucky” Thompson — boasted additional plays at 10:15 PM and 11:30 PM, which actually scored 7.1 million total viewers for the night. The series even trumped the series premiere of vampire-themed ratings juggernaut True Blood, which drew just 1.44 million viewers when it debuted in Sept. 2008.

“All the ingredients aligned for this one, from [producers] Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of [executive producer] Terry Winter and the expertise of [producer] Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi,” HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo, said in a statement. “The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.”



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