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Bloomingdales Partners With HBO And New Boardwalk Empire

This Sunday, HBO’s much ballyhooed new drama “Boardwalk Empire” premieres, a 12-part series based on actual events that took place in the 1920s.

Like HBO’s super hit “The Sopranos,” this latest cable effort is also based upon gangsters and is set in New Jersey. But Terence Winter, creator and executive producer of “Boardwalk Empire,” who was also an executive producer on “The Sopranos,” says while he hopes the series will become “mandatory viewing” the setting and circumstances are very different.

Indeed, Boardwalk Empire is nothing like The Sopranos.  Anyone watching Boardwalk Empire and hoping for a remake of The Sopranos will be disappointed.

How are the two shows different?  For one, the show is a period piece. Based on the nonfiction book “Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City” by Nelson Johnson, the plot revolves around one character, an Irishman named Nucky Thompson. “Half local politician, half mobster, he does a continual jig between civic respectability and outright underhandedness,” say producers. Set in the heyday of Atlantic City, the location serves as a microcosm of how profoundly the United States was changed by Prohibition. As the shows ads state: “When alcohol was outlawed, outlaws became kings.”

Bloomingdale’s a Marketing Partner

HBO is sparing no expense either in promoting the series—“a little North of $10 million” in advertising. In fact, part of the campaign already has a fashion component. HBO established partnership with three marketers: Caeser’s Atlantic City, Canadian Club whisky and Bloomingdale’s.

In addition to installing a boardwalk, 115 feet long and 6 feet wide, on the Third Avenue side of its flagship Manhattan store, Bloomingdale’s hosted the show’s premiere last week on Fashion’s Night Out, complete with red carpet photo ops and window displays featuring live models in flapper-era garb.

Boardwalk Empire Will Showcase Flamboyant Clothing And Accessories To Match Show's Characters

John Dunn, the series’ costume designer, says that viewers may be surprised about what they see in the way of clothing and accessories the show’s sometimes flamboyant characters will be wearing.

“We're used to looking at the 1920s in black-and-white. We see photographic documentation, we see films for the period — all black-and-white. When I was doing the research, I found various references to color in the magazines, and to my surprise the descriptions were very vivid.”

HBO is also running a sweepstakes and will offer winners prizes such as access to a suite with a “stocked bar” at Caesars Atlantic City for three days a month for a year and shopping sprees at Bloomingdale’s.

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