R.I.P. HBO's 'Luck' (and Three Horses)

Now everyone who keeps meaning to check out “Luck,” but hasn’t because you heard from a friend of a friend that a friend of theirs fell asleep while watching it doesn’t have to bother anymore. According to Deadline:

Luck will be no more on HBO. The pay cable network, along with Luck executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann, just announced that they’re ending the series following yesterday’s horse death, the third on the set of the horse racing drama starring Dustin Hoffman. Luck had been in the middle of production on the second episode of Season 2.

The series was facing a lot of deserved heat after, as mentioned above, a third horse, who I’ve named Clip Clop, went to the Great Glue Factory in the Sky while the show was in production. According to a veterinarian from the California Horse Racing Board, Clip Clop “was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground.” That doesn’t sound…healthy. PETA was pissed and making a fuss (they had a totally reasonable solution, too, which was to use a combination of CGI and stock footage to simulate the horse races), and “Luck” was facing a PR nightmare — combine that with mediocre ratings (500,000 viewers per episode, low even for HBO) and a lack of widespread critical support, and you’ve got a dead horse of a show. So to speak.

HBO’s usual solution to the problem.