HBO’s ‘Luck’ Canceled After Horse Deaths

Published 3 years ago by

Dustin Hoffman HBO Luck HBOs Luck Canceled After Horse Deaths

The race is over for HBO’s Luck, as executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann have decided to cancel the series after another horse died while filming this week.

In total, this marks the third horse to have died during the series’ production. The two other horses died during filming of the Luck pilot and while filming the seventh episode. And even though the producers were using more strenuous safety procedures on the horses than a normal raceway, the cancellation of the series came down to the fact that the producer could not promise that another horse death wouldn’t happen again.

Here is the press release HBO sent out about Luck’s cancelation:

It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series LUCK.

Safety is always of paramount concern.  We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures.  While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.  Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.

We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation.

Quote from Michael Mann and David Milch:  “The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers.  This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.”

Michael Mann Luck HBO HBOs Luck Canceled After Horse Deaths

'Luck' producer and pilot episode director Michael Mann

While it’s unfortunate that Luck is coming to an end so soon, what’s even more unfortunate is the fact that the cast and crew were just made aware of its cancellation, moments after TMZ reported it online. Because Luck was renewed for a second season early, everyone involved was already busy working on season 2, with 8 additional months of production expected. Now that the series has been canceled, it’s been reported the crew will not be receiving severance.

For HBO, Luck was always an experiment of sorts. While the actual art of horse racing was beautiful conveyed on screen, the initial barrier for entry that presents itself to potential fans may have been too great.  Of course, with the last episode of Luck receiving only 0.47 million viewers, HBO may have gotten off easy with an early cancellation for this series, because even if it was captivating, it just never found its audience.

Watch the last episodes of Luck, Sundays @9pm on HBO.

Souce: TMZ

TAGS: Luck
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  1. Is there an outbreak of horse flu? Why are the horses dying? Why dangle the carrot if you aren’t even going to say how they are dying? Are camera rigs breaking and falling on them? Explain.

    • You’d think shows where they have major battle scenes on horseback would be far more dangerous than one about racing…..I agree…They should have been more specific as to how they were getting killed off

      • They needed glue…

  2. I never really caught onto the show but with HBOGO perhaps the viewing numbers are not completely accurate since I only watched the show online. How sad that so many horses died. I too am curious how? Must be an illness since I cant imagine they are getting physically exhausted.

  3. I used to work in the horse racing industry and the term for when a horse goes down while running is called a breakdown. There have been several at the actual tracks lately too, and what the general public doesn’t see is how when it happens they take a tarp out on the track and they shoot the horse with a shotgun and cart the carcass off. Horse racing might be interesting subject matter to an extent, but it’s a dirty business run by people no better than the Mafia.

    • Not sure who slayer is trying to impress…they haven’t shot horses when they break a leg for 100 years. Not sure what your point is, but no one likes posers pretending to be something they are not just to make a point. As far is it being a dirty business name one that isn’t. Who cares. The Sopranos was about the Mafia and it was a great show.
      Why don’t you go hang out on the PETA website.

      • Actually Slayer is right. Horses are very powerful animal,but their legs are fragile for their huge body portion. Running them to extreme only put them at risk of injures. They are race between age 2-3 which they are not fully grown. Some get lucky to reach to 4 years old and can retire racing. Most thoroughbreds don’t come out of racing without any injures. Some are small, but it does sometime end their racing career(at least not their life). Personally to me, I avoid buying thoroughbreds that came from tracks unless the horse has great mind and conformation. When slayer mentioned killing the horses if they “breakdown”. It is true. If the injury is too great or/and the owner of the business rather put the horse down knowing the horse will need months to years of recovering. I have been in horse world for a long time, and that is part of the racing business. Doesn’t mean I like it, in fact, I hate the crudity. Again it happens a lot then most people are aware of.

        • They shot a few in a big race in England just this week. The race was on TV. Think some royals where there and tons of rich people. One of the biggest races in Europe. They shoot them all the time.

          My friend told me that if a horse breaks its leg it can’t stand up for months but the horse doesn’t know this and will keep trying to use his leg. So they have to immobilize him for months. It’s so expensive that the trainer wouldn’t be able to afford it with out loosing his profits.

          They make the horses run much much faster and take risks that it wouldn’t do it self. If it was running away from a predator in the wild it could do it at half the speed they make them move at and it wouldn’t jump a 6 foot tall fence with a rider on its back and big rope rapped around it’s head.

          • Yep, two got shot here as they brokedown – Slayer is right and whenpigsfly seems to be a moron.

      • Yeah like I am really trying to impress someone who is too dense to even look something up on the Internet. Why don’t you go back to guarding your bridge and harassing billy goats…..

    • really dude that is not how it’s done john q public would never stand for such a thing and besides it only takes a 22 short bullet if you know where to put it really …do some reaserch before you say something sooo crazy

    • Hahaha you know nothing of horseracing. I am in the industry and have been for years. If the horse is able to stand they take them to the backstretch to euthanize them with a needle! If they can’t remove them they still use a needle and than remove the body. Do your research. One horse I looked after broke his leg in a race and we stripped him on the track of everything but bridle and the vet put a splint on his leg. We eased him onto the trailer and took him home. He survived and is a pasture pet now. The owner loves him and will keep him till he dies. He is fat and happy now though

  4. I heard it was crack

  5. Dear sweet lord slayer please tell me that’s some crude joke that missed the mark by miles. I’m a huge animal advocate and I say good riddance

    • Nope it is a fact. I used to work at an Off Track Betting for years and I saw it happen more times then I can count. This year due to the increased greed by the New York tracks and safety issues there have been 15 accidents since this past winter.

      When they have to put a horse down there is usually a huge delay and if the races are televised they have to cut away from the track for a long time. Hell you see what happens when a horse and/or jockey go over the rail or a rider gets trampled. Fact is the circumstances surrounding why this show is being pulled actually shows a big part of horse racing itself.

      • Where the hell is PETA during all this meaningless slaughter? That pisses me off

        • Actually, PETA kills/euthanizes a ton (thousands) of animals every year if they don’t think they can ‘afford’ to sustain them. So PETA would never get into this horseracing industry because of how expensive it would be to attempt to rehabilitate the injured horses. PETA would do exactly what the owners do, which is euthanize them. I’d bet money on that.

          • Jesus I can’t believe that. What will I put my faith in now?

            • What goes on with horse racing really is not common knowledge because it is such an enclosed culture that is loosely regulated depending on what state you are talking about here in the United States. Look up Equine slaughter(horses being sold for meat) and the fight they are having in the states over exactly how much drugs are too much for a horse on race day. As I said before the irony of this show getting cancelled due to these horse deaths is that it does show a part of the racing industry they really try to keep quiet.

              • Somebody needs to step up and stop that sh*t :(

  6. Horses are cool

  7. Gave it an honest shot, I watched the pilot and caught bits and pieces of the second episode. While I thought that the acting was great and there was some good direction to the show, it just didnt do it for me. Horse deaths aside, this show was going to get canceled one way or another and while horses dying on set is a terrible ting, I honestly think they canceled the show due to poor viewership…

    Too many shows out there now trying to pull the Breaking Bad angle and not all of them will work

  8. This is horrible!!!! This show was so good. I am very upset. So are they going to shut down every horse track in the country too?? Idiots…

  9. I am sorry to see this go as I was quite intrigued with the character development along several plot lines. The cast was well done and Hoffman played a role I could actually get into. He has not impressed me for quite some time and his acting through well paused economical dialogue spoke volumes to the depth of character. Even Nolte’s performance was elevated beyond my expectations!

    Of course I can have no idea of the numbers this show is generating nor the budgets but it would seem to me that anytime a series on HBO is actually intelligent and of quality with massive potential it is cancelled quickly because it does not cater to the opiate drivel addicted least common denominator masses of viewers. Case in point the tremendous production of Rome!

    I am becoming more disillusioned with HBO productions.

  10. Let me get this right… a show called Luck (LUCK?!) has been cancelled due to the horses dying on them?
    Ah irony, thou harsh sting never grows weary.

    But seriously now, why were the horses dying? It can’t be a coincidence that THREE of them died during production… I can’t, for a second believe it was an “accident”.

    • That’s actually not that ironic.

  11. I don’t like horses. They frighten me.

  12. I have to say, i’m only four episodes in, I really don’t think Luck will be missed that much.

    I concept of the goings on in the horse industry never had mucb appeal, and I couldn’t really see much potential in a tv show about it either.

    Of course, the lure of Luck was seeing acing heavyweights Hoffmann and Nolte in action. But their roles never gave them much chance to show their acting prowess, Nolte’s character in particular seems to have little relevance or importance, spending more time talking to horses than actual people.

    There in lies the problem with Luck. It suffers from that typical ‘slow burn’ that inhabits so many of HBO recent shows. True it doesn’t quite hit the heights of tedium reached by Treme, but we still have multiple group of characters whom there is very little reason to watch or root for. Again for such a high production value and quality cast – it’s slightly irritating to watch a show always waiting for something to happen.

    Just hope HBO’s next big project will prove to be a more more eventful and exciting.

  13. Hey, this series can’t be finished, it’s the best thing I’ve seen in years on TV.
    Let’s open an online petition to ask HBO not to finish the series, but to restart it with maximum security regarding the horses (that is, to do whatever it takes in order not to have any horse death nor risk of death: old footage from real horse racing, computer effects, whatever etc.)

  14. Didn’t anyone involved in the production research liabilities? If I was filming in a third world country I’d want to know about anything potentially dangerous that could impact my ROI; I’d want these things thouroughly investigatedand I’d want the odds weighed. If horse deaths at the track are so common then that should have been a factor in the production’s plan. Before goiing forward I’d want to know if a common (or the odds of a random) occurrence was going to affect my investment. What about stock footage or CGI? Weere they considered as options to lessen the chances of horse injuries?

  15. Luck was the best series I have seen in a very long time. I very much wish they would find a way to bring it back.

  16. does the public NOT KNOW horses die every day in horse racing how ever it is NOT EVERYDAY a compelling series with a great reality story is shown to those who apperciate it as well as those “who did’t know that was like that” Ie HORSERACING!!!!!!

  17. The Grand national race this week. One of the largest races in the world. They shot 2 horses. They put up big black bags around them during the race so people couldn’t see the horses trying to get up.

  18. I’am really suprised that nobody has the balls to call out HBO for canceling the show. They perceived it as a loser and let “PETA” take the heat for canceling the show… 1200 horses are killed at race tracks a year. PETA would have furthered their cause by not saying a thing about “Luck”……………

    • wowowowowowwo suckrers