Three episodes into its second season, HBO has renewed Boardwalk Empire for a third.

The Prohibition-era drama, created by Terence Winter and starring Steve Buscemi as politician-gangster Enoch Nucky Thompson, returned for its second season September 25.

Its first airing had 2.9 million viewers, close to its first-season average of 3.2 million viewers. Its executive producers include Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg.

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, said HBO president of programing Michael Lombardo. The response from the media and our viewers has been extremely gratifying.

The renewal follows a series of recent drama series pickups, including for True Blood, Game of Thrones and Treme, as well as commitments to the new shows Luck, Veep, Girls, Life's Too Short and Aaron Sorkin's as-yet untitled project.

The show's first season won eight Emmys, including Scorsese's for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.