An Interview with 'Boardwalk Empire' Creator Terence Winter

The world is radically shifting for the characters of 'Boardwalk Empire,' the fabulous new HBO drama that premieres Sept. 19 and is one of fall's best new shows.

Set in the booming Atlantic City of the 1920s, 'Boardwalk Empire' is an stylish, enthralling epic in which nuanced, complicated characters help tell a sweeping story of a nation in transition.

I recently spoke to 'Boardwalk Empire' creator Terence Winter, a former 'Sopranos' executive producer, who discussed the creative input of 'Boardwalk Empire' executive producer Martin Scorsese, Winter's concerns about not repeating stories that were told on 'The Sopranos,' and how Prohibition altered the social and political landscape of the era.

HBO came to Winter with the book 'Boardwalk Empire,' which covers hundreds of years of Atlantic City history, and asked him to see whether there was a TV series in it (and knowing that Scorsese was already attached to the project was certainly an incentive for Winter to come up with the idea for a show). When shaping the project, Winter said he consciously avoided the '70s -- which felt too close to Tony Soprano's era -- and decided to pick an Atlantic City time frame that would feel different yet relatable.

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