Martin Scorsese, who knows a thing or two about directing gangland dramas, has directed the pilot and has agreed to executive produce the upcoming HBO series Boardwalk Empire , set in Atlantic City, NJ during the Prohibition era. Appearing via satellite from London at the Television Critics Association gathering in Beverly Hills over the weekend to promote the series, Scorsese said that directing for HBO is different from directing for network television. "In so many of their series," he said, "they're thoughtful, intelligent, brilliantly put together. It's a new opportunity for storytelling." Network television showed some promise to create such dramas in the 1960s, he said, "We hoped there would be this kind of freedom to create another world of the long form -- of developing character in a story narrative." Now HBO is at last allowing that hope to be realized, he suggested.