HBO has finally realized, after paying $50 million on sets, they'll need to run Boardwalk Empire for like 42 seasons just to break even. So three episodes into season three, they've already greenlit season four.

(Before we go any further, can we all just take a second and imagine that the 42 seasons of BWE took erratic Mad Men-like chronological jumps into the future, putting elderly bootleggers smack in the middle of the disco era by the 40th season?)

One more season means further opportunity to either elate viewers by finally turning this into a knock-down, drag-out gangster show or infuriate them by continuing to be all Downton Abbey when it damn well knows it should be a gangster series.

In any event, Boardwalk Empire's thoughtful writing and luminous production design at the very least outweighs the cultural damage done by Big Bang Theory, so we should probably all treat this is mildly good news.