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HBO announces end of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and return of ‘Game of Thrones’

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With the start of the annual winter edition of the Television Critics Association (TCA) now officially underway, HBO took to the stage this afternoon to meet with the media and make a few big announcements in the process.

The biggest news coming out of the session was the somewhat surprising revelation that this upcoming fifth season of the Emmy winning “Boardwalk Empire” will be its last. The Prohibition set drama starring Steve Buscemi and executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter is not only a critical favorite, but has a strong fan following.

Winter elaborated on the decision by saying:

“After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion.”

Granted audiences knew the show had a finite lifespan given the relatively short amount of time Prohibition was actually around, but “Empire” was one of HBO’s marquee shows and the expectation was it had a few more seasons left in the tank.

Network staple “True Blood” will also end its run this season leaving two big holes to fill, but executives are hoping Damon Lindelof’s adaptation of the novel “The Leftovers” will help when that bows this summer.

On the other side of the coin HBO also revealed the equally popular “Game of Thrones” will return to its spot on the network’s Sunday night slate starting April 6. In addition, executives also let fans know the first trailer for season 4 will bow this Sunday following the premiere of new drama “True Detective.”

Filling out the reminder of the evening starting in April will be the third season of “Veep” starring reigning-Emmy winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale as well as the debut of “Silicon Valley.” The new comedy from “Office Space” creator Mike Judge is about “the high-the gold rush” that is Silicon Valley. Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller and Zack Woods will topline the cast.

Finally, the highly anticipated HBO made-for-TV movie “The Normal Heart” from “Glee” and “American Horror Story” head Ryan Murphy will announced to likely air this May and Tom Hanks’ latest collaboration with the network, “Olive Kitteridge” will also “air later this year,” per the network. The four-part mini-series stars Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins and is based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout.

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