<p>Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi)&nbsp;won't be going anywhere for a while now that HBO&nbsp;has renewed &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) won't be going anywhere for a while now that HBO has renewed "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for season 3

Prohibition-era mob drama won 8 Emmys last month

Last fall, HBO ordered a second season of "Boardwalk Empire" only days after the first-ever episode had aired. This fall, HBO execs made Steve Buscemi, Terence Winter and company sweat it out just a bit more, announcing the third season renewal three weeks into season 2.

“Following a triumphant first season, I was eager to see what Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their stellar team had in store, and they continue to surpass our highest expectations,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement.  “The response from the media and our viewers has been extremely gratifying.”

Ratings for the new season have been down from the season 1 averages - especially when you factor in the 4+ million people who watched the Martin Scorsese-directed series premiere - but ratings (whether for the Sunday at 9 airing alone, or combined numbers across all platforms, including On Demand and HBO Go) have never been the driver for these kinds of decisions at HBO. They're not dependent on advertising, so raw viewership numbers matter less than harder-to-quantify issues like how a particular show represents the channel's brand.

"Boardwalk" isn't cheap, and it wasn't the dominant Emmy force some were expecting before it premiered. (It won 8 Emmys last month, but 7 of those were in technical categories, and Scorsese's win for directing was practically pre-ordained from the moment the show was announced.) But it's a strong show with a lot of praise from the critics (including this one), and coming in at a shade below 3 million viewers for the most recent Sunday airing (before all the other timeslots and platforms are factored in) isn't bad at all, particularly after HBO saw the miniscule numbers for its two Monday comedy premieres this week, with "Bored to Death" drawing 240,000 viewers and "Enlightened" only 210,000.

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<p>Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro in &quot;Midnight Run.&quot;</p>

Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro in "Midnight Run."

Credit: Universal

Here come two words for you: Why I love 'Midnight Run'

Significantly more than two words on your humble critic's favorite movie

If you've been following me for even a short amount of time, you probably know that "Midnight Run" is my favorite movie - not the best movie I've ever seen, but the one that gives me the most enjoyment, time after time, year after year. I quote one of Charles Grodin's lines as the sign-off to each week's podcast, use the soundtrack's cover image as my avatar on most social media, will frequently reference it in my writing, and even wrote a long post on it a few years ago on the old blog.

But after seeing it in a movie theater not long after it was released back in the summer of '88(*), I'd only ever watched it on home video, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, occasionally with my indulgent wife. A couple of weeks ago, though, my friend Steve told me that the 92nd Street Y Tribeca was not only screening the movie, but following it up with a Grodin Q&A, and even though this was in the heart of my busiest time of the year, work-wise, I couldn't resist going, for both the movie and The Duke.

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<p>Tig (Kim Coates)&nbsp;has a family reunion on &quot;Sons of Anarchy.&quot;</p>

Tig (Kim Coates) has a family reunion on "Sons of Anarchy."

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' - 'With an X': The blame game

Juice gets deeper into trouble, while Clay makes a troubling decision

A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I recommend getting knocked up and kidnapped...

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<p>Adam (Peter Krause)&nbsp;tries out a new look on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Adam (Peter Krause) tries out a new look on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'Nora': All apologies

Various Bravermans have to apologize to other Bravermans, and the family welcomes a new addition

A review of tonight's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I go untucked...

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<p>Tim Allen in &quot;Last Man Standing.&quot;</p>

Tim Allen in "Last Man Standing."

Credit: ABC

'Last Man Standing': Unfrozen caveman sporting goods exec

What did everybody think of Tim Allen's new ABC sitcom?

Okay, I posted my review of "Last Man Standing" this morning. Now it's your turn. I'm guessing not very many of you tuned in to watch Tim Allen ask about what the hell happened to men, but for those who did, what did you think? Are you going to watch more than these first two episodes? (For that matter, did anyone make it through both?)

Have at it.

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<p>Martin Short and Jason Segel on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Martin Short and Jason Segel on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Field Trip': Pollstered!

Robin starts dating her therapist, and Martin Short returns as Marshall's boss

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I click past the slide on Ewok anatomy...

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<p>Tim Allen is the &quot;Last Man Standing.&quot;</p>

Tim Allen is the "Last Man Standing."

Credit: ABC

Review: Tim Allen's groan-worthy new 'Last Man Standing'

His ABC sitcom character hates everyone and everything but himself

One of my favorite random "30 Rock" gags of recent vintage is that the show-within-the-show only got on the air as NBC's way of apologizing for having aired "Bitch Hunter," a misogynist action drama starring Will Ferrell as a hero who barks out dialogue like, "Put the mimosas down, bitch!" Each time we'd see a clip of "Bitch Hunter," it would come with a credit listing the various writers and producers, which included eccentric former NBC president Ben Silverman, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner and (each time) "30 Rock" writer Jack Burditt.

At the time, I just took it as a friendly dig at one of the series' own writers. But having watched two episodes of "Last Man Standing" (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC), the Burditt-created sitcom in which Tim Allen plays a sexist, homophobic, xenophobic sporting goods executive, I had the following thoughts:

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<p>&quot;Enlightened&quot;&nbsp;star Laura Dern and creator/director Mike White have a chat.</p>

"Enlightened" star Laura Dern and creator/director Mike White have a chat.

Credit: HBO

'Enlightened' - 'Pilot': It's turtles all the way down!

What did everybody think of the new HBO dramedy?

Okay, I offered my review of HBO's "Enlightenedthis morning. Now it's your turn. What did you think of this collaboration between Laura Dern and Mike White? How do you feel about what we see of Amy Jellicoe both before and after she gains her alleged enlightenment? If you were a fan of Mike White's stint on "The Amazing Race," were you excited to see Victor from that season as one of the corporate lawyers? Glad to have Diane Ladd and Dern playing mother and daughter again? And do any of you plan to watch more than this episode?

Have at it.

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<p>Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) shows off at his &quot;Bored to Death&quot;&nbsp;book signing.</p>

Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) shows off at his "Bored to Death" book signing.

Credit: HBO

'Bored to Death' - 'The Blonde in the Woods': You're in the frame

What did everybody think of the HBO private eye comedy's return?

As I wrote about at the start of "Bored to Deathseason 2, I think I've come to terms that the parts of the show I enjoy (George and/or Ray on their own, the three guys on a job together) and the parts I don't (anything to do with Jonathan by himself, and also some parts of Jonathan interacting with the other two) aren't going to change, that Danson and Galifianakis are just funny enough to overcome my dislike of the Jonathan Ames character and/or the way Schwartzman plays him, and that it's therefore not something I'll write about much.(*)

(*) If at all. I wound up not writing about season 2 again after that initial post, and we'll see if HBO winds up ordering a fourth season. For all the publicity about how Danson would get to do both "CSI" and this, it was easy to say, given that "Bored to Death" season 3 was already in the can. I have no idea whether CBS will let him do a fourth season, whether HBO would bother with a fourth without him, whether its banishment to Mondays (due to an overload of original programming) suggests HBO doesn't have future plans for it, etc.

For those of you who are still sticking with it, how did you feel about the season premiere? Are you glad to see Jonathan becoming more accomplished in both his professional lives? Did the level of violence (even if it was off-screen) seem off for the show? And how about Ray Hueston, part-time dad?

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 98: 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 98: 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' & more

Dan and Alan also review HBO's 'Enlightened' and 'Bored to Death' and talk about cancellations and 'The Simpsons' renewal


An extra-long Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week features our final "Breaking Bad" discussion for a while, looks ahead to how "The Walking Dead" will succeed it in season 2, reviews some underwhelming new HBO and ABC comedies, discusses the current state of "The Simpsons," and more. The line-up: 

"Bored to Death" -- 01:00 - 8:30
"Enlightened" -- 8:30 - 20:15
"Last Man Standing" -- 20:20 - 27:00
"The Walking Dead" -- 27:00 - 36:40
Cancellations -- 37:00 - 45:30
"The Simpsons" renewal -- 45:00 - 01:00:30
"Breaking Bad" finale - 01:00:30 - 01:24:44
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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