In one of the most bizarre (and sad) endings in TV history, HBO has opted to end its racing drama “Luck” after a single season beset by equine tragedy.
In a statement released on Wednesday (March 14) afternoon, HBO says, “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.”
The announcement came just two days after the death of a third horse during production on the HBO series. At the time, it was announced that “Luck” would merely be suspending work involving horses, pursuant to a full investigation by the American Humane Association.
“Luck” premiered on HBO to mixed-to-positive reviews in January. From writer-producer David Milch and director-producer Michael Mann, the series starred Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and a large ensemble, encompassing the world of horse-racing set around Santa Anita. Despite less-than-blockbuster ratings, “Luck” was renewed after its first airing and had been early in production on its second season.
In the HBO statement, Mann and Milch say, “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.”