HBO Renews 'Girls,' Topples 'Boardwalk Empire'

'Girls' creator and star Lena Dunham defends the show's nudity during panel confrontation

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Jessica Miglio/HBO
Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Allison Williams on 'Girls'
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In addition to setting the season four premiere date for Game of Thrones, HBO announced at a press event yesterday that it would be renewing Girls for a fourth season and that the sun would be setting on Boardwalk Empire after its fifth. The third season of Girls will premiere at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday with back-to-back episodes, while the final season Boardwalk Empire will debut sometime in the fall.

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Despite news of the cancellation, Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter issued an upbeat statement. "We're thrilled to get the go-ahead for a fifth season of Boardwalk Empire," he said. "After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we've decided to wrap up the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion."

Meanwhile, Girls' new season hasn't even premiered yet and it's been sparking discussion. During a panel at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles Thursday night, the show's creator, Lena Dunham, and executive producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner took a journalist to task for questioning the role of nudity in the series.

The journalist asked Dunham, "I don't get the purpose of the nudity on this show – by you particularly."

"It's a realistic expression of what it's like to be alive," Dunham replied, according to Entertainment Weekly. "If you're not into me, that's your problem and you're going to have to work that out with professionals."

Then Apatow, who called the question offensive, sexist and misogynistic, jumped in. "Do you have a girlfriend?" he asked the reporter, according to The Guardian. "Does she like you?" EW reported that Apatow also defended Dunham, by saying, "Lena is brave enough to do it. If Paul Rudd said to me, 'I'm willing to be completely naked in the movie,' I'd do it. . . . Most people are not comfortable, so we don't go there."

Later, Konner brought the question up again when she found herself stammering to answer another question. "I literally was spacing out because I'm in such a rage spiral about that guy," she said. " "I was just looking at him looking at him and going into this rage [over] this idea that you would talk to a woman like that and accuse a woman of showing her body too much. The idea it just makes me sort of sick."

The reporter who asked the question offered his take on the events, as well as his girlfriend's, for The Wrap.