With "Boardwalk Empire," HBO hopes to bring back the kind of "event TV" they had with "The Sopranos." They're even going back to what they know best - the New Jersey mafia. This time it's Atlantic City in 1920, the dawn of Prohibition.

With "Boardwalk Empire," HBO hopes to bring back the kind of "event TV" they had with "The Sopranos." They're even going back to what they know best - the New Jersey mafia. This time it's Atlantic City in 1920, the dawn of Prohibition.

Corrupt city treasurer Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) takes full advantage of his control of ports and illegal distilleries to supply alcohol to New York gangsters Arnold Rothstein and "Lucky" Luciano as well as Chicagoans Johnny Torrio and an up-and-coming Al Capone.

Thompson's protege, Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), is looking to make it big, but his impetuousness causes problems. And, of course, there's a lawman looking to bring them all down - an excellently dogged and stoic Michael Shannon.

"Boardwalk" is a sweeping look at the era, with storylines involving everything from the rise of mafia legends to women's suffrage and racism. All are done with wonderful storytelling and a detailed panache.