The period surrounding World War I, Prohibition and the Great Depression has been skillfully and realistically reflected in such shows as PBS’ Downton Abbey, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Lifetime’s Bonnie & Clyde. While each program’s storyline illustrates how world events shaped the lives of their characters, the physical surroundings—rendered in minute detail—really drive the narrative home. Such is the work of a production designer. The old Hindu saying, “The world is like the impression left by the telling of a story,” is analogous to the role of his craft, says production designer Bill Groom, who has won two Emmys for his work on HBO’s Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire. “As designers, we leave the evidence behind of a person’s life, and we do it in advance—it’s captured in film and then told back to the audience. We create rooms where a person sometimes has lived for 40 years,” he says.
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Michael Kenneth Williams, better known as Chalky White if you have HBO and are as addicted to Terence Winter’s Boardwalk Empire as I am. Williams, who first made his mark on HBO’s The Wire playing Omar, the elusive man who robbed crack dealers, is currently starring opposite Mark Wahlberg in the Rupert Wyatt-directed remake of The Gambler at Paramount Pictures. He appeared in the Robocop remake as well as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and most recently wrapped Inherent Vice for Paul Thomas Anderson. Williams returns for the fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire this fall. He had been repped at ICM Partners.
Williams continues to be managed by Matt Goldman and Sam Maydew at Silver Lining Entertainment. The other thing to know about Williams is that while Quentin Tarantino chose Jamie Foxx to play the title role in Django Unchained because Jamie’s skill on horseback made him the cowboy Tarantino was looking for, Quentin told me he loved Williams, who presented him with a hard decision.
The upcoming fifth season of HBO‘s gangster drama Boardwalk Empire will be its last, the network announced at TCA. The decision comes three months after HBO gave Boardwalk Empire a fifth-season renewal two weeks into its fourth season run. “It has been an incredible honor to bring this powerful and groundbreaking series to our subscribers,” said HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo. “Terry Winter has created one for the ages.” Added creator/executive producer Winter, “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 show from Winter and Martin Scorsese is set in the 1920s during Prohibition and chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the undisputed leader of Atlantic City. For its first three seasons, Boardwalk has won 13 Emmys, including for Scorsese’s directing work on the pilot and recurring guest star Bobby Cannavale.
EXCLUSIVE: While Michael K. Williams‘ Chalky White character seems to be becoming a larger presence on each season of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (I am most certainly not complaining), he’s found a movie to do during his hiatus. Williams signed with BN Films to join Captive, the thriller directed by Jerry Jameson and written by Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke. Williams joins David Oyelowo, Kate Mara, Leonor Varela and Mimi Rogers. The film is a fictionalized thriller based on a well-known true story. While Ashley Smith, a single mom, struggles to overcome her drug addiction to regain custody of her daughter, she’s taken hostage by an escaped, quadruple murderer. Her only defenses: faith in God, a love for her daughter, and the book A Purpose Driven Life, parts of which she reads aloud to her captor during the harrowing ordeal. This leads to a surprising epiphany for both Ashley and the convict. Williams plays a lead detective in the film that begins shooting this weekend in North Carolina.
‘Boardwalk Empire’ At NY PaleyFest: Tony Soprano As Nucky Thompson? “One Of The First People We Talked About”, Creator Says
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
James Gandolfini as Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson? It might have happened had the stars aligned differently, the HBO drama’s creator and showrunner Terence Winter said today during the concluding panel of the PaleyFest: Made in NY event at New York’s Paley Center for Media. In response to a question from an audience member about actors other than Steve Buscemi who were considered to portray Nucky, Winter said that Gandolfini — who died in June — was “one of the first people we talked about” for the role. “Not only had we just worked with him,” Winter added, “but he also bore such an uncanny resemblance to the actual Nucky.” But Gandolfini was never really given serious consideration because he was coming off having portrayed an iconic gangster on The Sopranos, Winter admitted. A few other names came up, but because most people had no clue what the actual Nucky Thompson looked like, exec producer Martin Scorsese recommended that they just pick an actor they “really like and want to work with,” Winter said. “Then Marty called me up and said, ‘I can’t stop thinking about Steve Buscemi.’” I said, ‘I can’t either.’ And that was it.”
Just over two weeks after the Prohibition Era series’ Season 4 debut, HBO announced today that Boardwalk Empire will be back for a fifth season. “Thanks to Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Howard Korder and their stellar team, Boardwalk Empire remains in a class by itself,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming in a statement Thursday.“I look forward to another electrifying season of this impeccably crafted series.” The Steve Buscemi-starring series recently picked up 5 Emmy Awards this year, including an Outstanding Supporting Actor win for Bobby Cannavale. Those 5 wins were the most for any series this year.
Wins By Network
HBO 20 (1 programs + 19 individuals)
CBS 15 (3 programs + 12 individuals)
NBC 8 (8 individuals)
Cartoon Network 3 (1 program + 2 individuals)
Disney.com 3 (1 program + 2 individuals)
Nickelodeon 3 (2 programs + 1 individual)
PBS 3 (1 program + 2 individual)
Showtime 3 (3 individual)
CNN 2 (1 program + 1 individual)
Comedy Central 2 (1 program + 1 individual)
Discovery Channel 2 (2 individual)
Fox 2 (2 individual)
FX Networks 2 (2 individual)
History 2 (2 individual)
Netflix 2 (2 individual)
Starz 2 (2 individual)
ABC 1 (1 individual)
AMC 1 (1 individual)
Bravo 1 (1 program)
BravoTV.com 1 (1 program)
Cinemax 1 (1 individual)
ComedyCentral.com 1 (1 program)
Disney XD 1 (1 individual)
History.com 1 (1 program)
IFC 1 (1 individual)
Lifetime 1 (1 individual)
Oprah.com/Lifeclass 1 (1 program)
ReelzChannel 1 (1 individual)
Sundance Channel 1 (1 individual)
Youtube.com/LizzieBennet 1 (1 program)
Programs with Multiple Awards
Behind the Candelabra (HBO) 8
66th Annual Tony Awards (CBS) 4
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) 4
Disney Mickey Mouse Croissant de Triomphe (Disney.com) 3
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (HBO) 3
Saturday Night Live (NBC) 3
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS) 2
American Masters (PBS) 2
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN) 2
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 2
Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz) 2
Deadliest Catch (Discovery) 2
Game of Thrones (HBO) 2
House of Cards (Netflix) 2
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 2
The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS) 2
The Men Who Built America (HISTORY) 2
Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.
At a glance, this list of probable contenders for the drama Emmy will look a lot like last year’s. AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad are back. So are PBS’ Downton Abbey, HBO’s Game Of Thrones and, of course, 2012’s winner, Showtime’s Homeland. But also included among the frontrunners this year—as if the broadcast networks didn’t have a hard enough time getting any noms!—is Netflix’s first entry, House Of Cards. How will the wildcard fare against the cablers? While you ponder that question, here’s our assessment of its chances, as well as those of 23 other series and their stars:
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
Since FX’s 1980s-set spy yarn is still in its freshman season—and still suffering from comparisons to Showtime’s Homeland—its best bets for nominations are its standout leads, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. But, since neither TV vet has been recognized before by the Emmys, even they are, if not long shots, pretty far-off medium shots.
Though A&E’s attempt to out-AMC with its moody Psycho prequel has scored big in the ratings, it isn’t the series but rather Oscar-nominated star Vera Farmiga who stands the best chance of receiving a nod.
HBO’s Prohibition-era shoot-’em-up had a superlative season. But, since this category is more crowded than a Game Of Thrones cast party—and the show has never generated as much heat as its gangsters have packed—it’s unlikely to eke out a third consecutive nomination. On the other hand, Bobby Cannavale—so good as the year’s Big Bad, Gyp Rosetti—is all but assured a TK nod.
Related: EMMYS: Movie/Miniseries Overview
HBO Ends ‘Eastbound & Down’ With Season 4; ‘Boardwalk Empire’, Larry David’s ‘Clear History’ & ‘Hello Ladies’ Premieres Set
HBO said today that Eastbound & Down’s upcoming fourth season will be its last. The previously announced eight-episode Season 4 of self-obsessed and self-destructive baseball player Kenny Powers, starring Danny McBride, will debut September 29. Sources says that after convincing McBride, Will Ferrell, Andy McKay and the show’s other producers to not end things at the conclusion of Season 3, HBO hoped that Eastbound would continue on past a fourth season. However, the Eastbound gang had decided that four cycles was enough. HBO also announced Thursday that the Larry David film Clear History will air August 10 and that Boardwalk Empire will be back for its fourth season September 8. The cable network’s new comedy Hello Ladies, starring Stephen Merchant as a man looking for love in LA, will make its debut on September 29 in the 10 PM slot for an eight-episode first season right before Eastbound & Down.
NEW YORK, June 6, 2013 – EASTBOUND & DOWN, the raucous HBO comedy series from creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill, begins shooting its eight-episode fourth and final season tomorrow in North Carolina, with the season scheduled to launch SUNDAY, SEPT. 29 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT). McBride stars in the show as the irrepressible Kenny Powers, the former major league pitcher who is larger than life… and death.
In the third season of EASTBOUND & DOWN, which concluded in April 2012, Kenny Powers finally made it back to the majors and recaptured his former glory, only to fake his own death and run back home to his beloved April, the mother of his child. The upcoming fourth season picks up the action several years later and finds Kenny living the American Dream with his family in North Carolina.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire continues to beef up its cast for Season 4. Patricia Arquette has joined the period mob drama in a major recurring role opposite star Steve Buscemi. She will play Sally Wheet, a tough-as-nails Tampa speakeasy owner with connections to local gangsters. Season 4 is currently in production for a debut later this year. Its cast additions also include new regulars Ron Livingston and Jeffrey Wright and recurring Brian Geraghty and Eric Ladin. This marks Arquette’s first major series commitment since her seven-season starring turn on NBC/CBS’ Medium. She is with Gersh, 3 Arts and Ziffren Brittenham.
The Killing alum Eric Ladin is set to play young J. Edgar Hoover on HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire. Ladin, repped by Innovative and Main Title, has joined the cast of the period mob drama as a recurring. This is Ladin’s second recurring gig on an HBO series; he also had a role on Big Love as Chloë Sevigny’s doctor.
In another recurring HBO casting, Brothers & Sisters alum Luke Grimes will film five episodes of the upcoming sixth season of True Blood. I hear he would be upped to a regular if the vampire drama is renewed for a seventh season. Grimes, repped by CAA, manager Darren Goldberg, and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Wes, a 27-year-old, sexy, spiritual, compassionate, intelligent, protective, deeply emotional, and guitar-playing vampire who was turned in the ‘70s. He next stars with Amber Heard in Weinstein Co’s recent acquisition All The Boys Love Mandy Lane.
EXCLUSIVE: In his biggest series commitment to date, Jeffrey Wright has joined the cast of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as a new series regular for the period drama’s upcoming fourth season. He will play Valentin Narcisse, Doctor of Divinity, philanthropist, student of culture and the man who runs Harlem. Season 4 is currently in production and will debut later this year. This marks Wright’s return to HBO where he has starred in several long-form projects, including film Boycott, in which he portrayed Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., landing an AFI Award, and mini-series Angels In America, which earned him an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role he originated onstage and won a Tony for. Wright recently wrapped The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Only Lovers Left Alive and The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete, which premiered at Sundance. Boardwalk Empire has been beefing up the cast heading into Season 4 with Wright and Ron Livingston as new regulars. The series is executive produced by creator Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Tim Van Patten and Howard Korder and co-executive produced by Gene Kelly.
EXCLUSIVE: The Hurt Locker co-star Brian Geraghty has joined the cast of HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire as a recurring for the period mob drama’s upcoming fourth season. He will play Loren Knox, a prohibition agent with ulterior motives newly assigned to Atlantic City. Season 4 is currently in production for a debut later this year. This marks Geraghty’s second major series gig following a recurring role on another HBO series, True Blood. On the film side, he recently co-starred in Flight and Ass Backwards, which premiered at Sundance. Geraghty is with UTA, Management 360 and attorney Craig Emanuel.
EXCLUSIVE: Ron Livingston has joined the cast of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as a new series regular for the period drama’s upcoming fourth season. He will play Roy Phillips, a wealthy out-of-town businessman who catches the eye of Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol). Season 4 is currently in production and will debut later this year. This marks Livingston’s return to HBO where he co-starred on the Emmy-winning Sex And The City, Band Of Brothers and, most recently, Game Change. This year, Livingston, repped by UTA and Thruline, appears in several movies, including Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, which premiered at Sundance, Drinking Buddies, which premieres at SXSW, and New Line’s supernatural thriller The Conjuring. He just wrapped Parkland. Boardwalk Empire is executive produced by creator Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Tim Van Patten and Howard Korder and co-executive produced by Gene Kelly.
EXCLUSIVE: Domenick Lombardozzi (Breakout Kings) has been cast in a recurring role on HBO’s period mob drama Boardwalk Empire. He will play Chicago mobster Ralph Capone, older brother to Al Capone (Stephen Graham). This marks Lombardozzi’s return to HBO where he co-starred on The Wire, did arcs on Entourage and Oz and guest-starred on Bored To Death. He will next be seen in the features Malavita, directed by Luc Besson, and Blood Ties, helmed by Guillaume Canet.
James Hiroyuki Liao (Battle: Los Angeles) has joined the retooled version of CBS’ crime drama Unforgettable. He will play Jay, a detective with a wide variety of eclectic interests and skills. He is set for three episodes with an option to become a regular. Last season, Hiroyuki, repped by SMS and Joan Sittenfield Management, co-starred in the CBS drama pilot Applebaum. He also recurred on 24 and Prison Break.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine
Rusty-voiced, sweet-natured, a tin mask covering up his facial World War I wound, Richard Harrow, as played flawlessly by Jack Huston, is the type of vigilante one might find in a DC Comic book, warts and all. But in HBO’s 1920s epic Boardwalk Empire, he’s a supporting character that creator Terence Winter and his writers transformed from late gangster Jimmy Darmody’s trusted sharpshooter into a human being. For the bulk of this season, Harrow refrained from killing off any bad guys as he wooed a war veteran’s daughter and acted as the surrogate father to Darmody’s orphaned son, Tommy. “Richard knows how to kill. He doesn’t do it well; he does it great,” says Huston about Harrow, who even puts fear in lead Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) “I reminded Terry that I was getting an itchy finger, and he said, ‘Just wait.’ ”