HBO Cancels LUCK after Third Horse Death

     March 14, 2012


HBO has canceled David Milch and Michael Mann‘s horse-racing drama Luck after the third death of a horse this season.  The show had been picked up for a second season and filming was underway, but on Tuesday a horse was injured when she “reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground.”  The on-set veterinarian determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate.  Two horses were injured and euthanized during the first season, so apparently HBO was operating on the “Three Dead Horses and You’re Out” rule.

While HBO probably renewed Luck due to its cost and star prestige (the show stars Dustin Hoffman), it wasn’t turning into a breakout hit the size of Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones.  This isn’t to say that HBO would have gone on in spite of the horse deaths had Luck been a bigger hit, but I don’t think any of the network executives are going to be upset at losing an expensive show that had soft ratings.  Hit the jump for a statement from the network.

Here’s HBO’s statement on canceling Luck [via THR]:

“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.”



  • Junierizzle

    Wow. I like the show. It isn’t great but it is very good. Oh well. I hope they at least wrap up the series.

  • Mars

    Smh, the show was starting to get really good, too. HBO liked their ratings enough to renew for a 2nd season, but now it’s gonna be over. The silver lining is Mann can get back to films.

  • ATSPod

    I wonder if HBO made a deal with Milch to finally make the Deadwood films since they are canning Luck?

  • Mo

    Sorry to hear this, but with lousy ratings and bad publicity maybe HBO was looking for a way out. Sorry to see the show go.

  • murphyslaw

    This is one of the best new shows on TV and had potential to be one of HBO’s better series’, its better than Boardwalk Empire and as good as Game of Thrones and it was going to go places for sure. This is so disappointing.

    • RIC

      In now way is it better than boardwalk empire. Not in the same league as boardwalk empire or game of thrones. Not even close.

  • Jay

    That is too bad…was just getting into the show.

  • maryjanesuncle

    now if they would only do Maher

  • LEM


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  • whatever

    How many more of the remaining episodes will they air?

    • Kurt

      There are only two episodes left this season, which is all we’ll get. Meaning we won’t get a finale, what ever cliff hanger we get is what we get. Maybe we could gel a book or something to wrap it up. I’d really like to know what happens with everyone. Maybe they knew this was going to happen and the next two episodes were planned accordingly. But I doubt that.

  • SP1234

    Three Dead Horses and You’re Out. Really? You’re so heartless about something serious as horses dying? How dare you!

  • Ringbearer1420


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