HBO Permanently Shuts Down ‘Luck’

Production is halted after a third horse dies on the set.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Last December, HBO gave "Luck" a preemptive second season order before the series officially debuted in January. Despite the somewhat soft ratings of the first season, "Luck" seemed to be in good shape to return to HBO.

However, after a third horse died on the set this week, "Luck" executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann have decided to permanently halt production of the second season, essentially cancelling the series. Two horses had previously died during the production in two separate accidents.

The first episode of the second season had already been filmed prior to the announcement, but it is not expected to air on HBO. The remaining episodes of the first season of "Luck" will still be broadcast as scheduled.

"Luck" starred Dustin Hoffman as Chester "Ace" Bernstein, a lifelong mobster newly released from prison who was eager to reenter the world of professional horse racing while secretly planning his revenge on those he held responsible for his imprisonment. The series boasted an impressive cast, including Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, Ian Hart, Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens, Tom Payne, and Jill Hennessy. Unfortunately, "Luck" was never able to capture the wider audience that other HBO series have enjoyed.

In HBO's official statement on the cancellation, it writes that "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."

Milch and Mann followed with a statement of their own which stated  “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.”


What are your thoughts on the end of "Luck"? Let us know in the comment section below!