Stars: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Stephen Graham, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael K. Williams, Paz de la Huerta, Anthony Luciara, Gretchen Mol
Premiere Date: September
Why we’re excited: Where does a hit show go after it shockingly kills off a main character it has primarily followed throughout its only existing seasons? Hell if we know, but that’s exactly why we can’t wait to see what creator Terrence Winter has in store for Boardwalk Empire’s crucial third season.
All that we know about the HBO gangster saga’s next stretch is that we sadly won’t see any more of Jimmy Darmody’s (Michael Pitt) conflicted, wannabe-capo struggles and that the story will jump 16 months to 1923, when, as Winter pointed out to Entertainment Weekly, liquor supplies began depleting and rivals started getting violently desperate. One thing is certain, though: After capping Jimmy in the face, Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) is in a more cold-blooded space than ever, and he’s not going to be too pleased about Margaret’s (Kelly Macdonald) handing over of their lucrative property to the church.
Another potentially explosive story turn: Now that Van Alden (Michael Shannon) has relocated to Cicero, he’s in prime Al Capone (Stephen Graham) territory, meaning that two of Boardwalk Empire’s strongest yet most under-utilized characters may well collide.
3. Boardwalk Empire