After three horses died during the production of the horse-racing series Luck, HBO has decided to cancel the series and shut down production.
The cast and crew were in the middle of shooting the second episode of their second season. HBO had initially said that filming would continue on the David Milch series with scenes that didn’t involve horses. Word is now that production is shutting down for good. The second episode of the sophomore season won’t be completed and the first episode won’t air.
While Luck boasts a lot of talented performers — Dustin Hoffman, 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 — the numbers weren’t nearly as impressive. The pilot drew 1.14 million viewers for a December 2011 preview and 1.06 million when it was rerun in late January. Viewership fell off pretty quickly and Luck drew only 445,000 two weeks ago.
HBO gave the go-ahead for a second season of Luck following the second airing of the pilot and before the ratings plunge.
While viewers won’t get to see any of the second season, HBO plans to air the remaining two episodes. The de-facto series finale will air on March 25th at 9pm.
Here’s the official statement from HBO:
Statement on Luck
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.”
What do you think? Do you think HBO did the right thing? Should Luck have been cancelled?
Image courtesy HBO.