After halting production of Luck, the Dustin Hoffman horse gambling drama in light of a third horse death on set yesterday, HBO, along with Luck executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann, have decided to put a permanent end to the series.
Luck's decision is due in part to pressure from PETA, who came down heavy on the show after the most recent horse fatality and strongly recommended HBO "use stock racing footage instead of endangering horses for entertainment purposes.” While this method of filming was certainly feasible, HBO opted to cancel the show entirely, which had already been lagging in ratings, drawing 686,000 viewers in its most recent episode.
Milch and Mann had these words regarding the end of their co-produced series:
"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."
Luck's already filmed second season premiere will not air. The final two episodes will air according to schedule with the season finale acting as the series finale.