'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5 News: Time Running Out For Nucky Thompson, HBO Drama Closes Out Series With Shortened 8-Episode Arc [VIDEO]

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Boardwalk Empire has been running 12-episode seasons on HBO since 2010, but this year the prohibition drama will finish out its fifth final season with only eight episodes.

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The eight episode arc was announced earlier this week. The shortened season, along with a seven-year time jump into the 1930s, means that the HBO series will have even less time to wrap up all loose ends for a number of infamous gangsters, from Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) to Al Capone (Stephen Graham).

While history has given audiences an idea of where the show is headed, creator Terrence Winter has assured fans throughout the years that they will not be following strict historical accuracy when it comes to Nucky Thompson, who is based on real-life Nucky Johnson.

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As a result, fans have done a fair amount of guessing as to whether or not the series' leading man will be left standing at the close of the season. Historically, Johnson died of natural causes years after his empire crumbled. In fact, of the five leading gangsters on the series, only one was murdered in real life. The other four all died of old age, begging the questions as to whether or not the high-body count series will decide to create its own history.  

One thing is for certain, though, change is coming. With the tagline "All Empires Fall" featured predominately in the program's most recent trailer, it's even possible Thompson will follow in the footsteps of his real-life counterpart.

Boardwalk Empire returns to HBO for a fifth and final season Sunday, September 7th at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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