HBO’s LUCK CANCELLED DUE TO HORSE DEATHS

Evidently, the HBO show “Luck” has run out of luck.

After suffering from mostly bad luck, cable giant HBO has dropped the new horseracing drama after three horses died during production.

“Luck” had just begun shooting its second season.

The series used horseracing and some of its stereotypical characters as a backdrop for a drama where the sleek beauty of the Thoroughbred was intertwined with A-list actors Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.

Two of the deaths were breakdowns and the other horse was put down after rearing up and flipping over. 

In a statement, HBO said, “While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen, and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.”

Dr. Rick Arthur, a veterinarian at the Santa Anita racetrack in California, told CBS News, “HBO did everything they possibly could to ensure the safety of those horses.”

The series was gaining ground with critics and was shooting episodes for season two.

But its ratings – just half-a-million viewers — were disappointing. Variety Associate Editor Jon Weisman wonders whether the ratings race was the real reason the show was pulled. “There’s going to be a lot of speculation that that’s exactly what happened — that they used this for cover to get out from a show that they perhaps didn’t really want to be involved with long term,” he says.

The American Humane Association, which monitors animals on TV and movie sets, said cancelling the series is “arguably the best decision HBO could have made.”

“Luck” was created by David Milch who is also an owner of Thoroughbred racehorses. He co-owned Breeders Cup Juvenile winner Gilded Time and owned outright Val Royal who captured the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Milch is best known for television hits Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue and HBO’s Deadwood.