HBO's Boardwalk Empire puts Atlantic City, New Jersey on the map like no other show has ever done. The Steve Buscemi led drama is well-written with exceptional acting, directing, and set design. It has earned 17 Emmy Awards over the course of the first three seasons. SAG nominations highlight season four. Storylines featured the successful exploits and concerns of African American characters like we've never seen before. Characters like Chalky White and Dr. Narcisse are depicted as layered and complicated, not just the one-dimensional house servants of the era. All this made fans squeal with glee when a fifth season was announced.
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But then the worst happened.
Thursday, the show’s producers announced the fifth season of Boardwalk Empire will be the last. There’s been no word as to why. No explanation on how come another fabulous HBO show needs to disappear. But whenever anything is canceled poor ratings are usually to blame. The show also starred Michael Kenneth Williams as Chalky White, Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Valentin Narcisse and singer Margot Bingham as Daughter Maitland.
Chances are that we will never see a program written, directed, and produced by white folks with a focus on its African American characters to the extent that Boardwalk Empire has taken, for a long time to come. Maybe we'll be proven wrong.