By Lynette Rice
September 21, 2010 at 04:58 PM EDT

Image Credit: Abbot Genser/HBOOnly two days after the drama’s debut, HBO announced that it has renewed Boardwalk Empire. The series’ Sept. 19 start averaged 4.8 million viewers – HBO’s largest premiere of any program in more than six years (since the March 21, 2004 introduction of Deadwood).  

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

Empire is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States.