It’s a pretty ironic way to put it but for the play on words, HBO ran out of Luck when they had to cancel their horse racing series show. The show had major Hollywood Stars in it like Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. The show survived it’s season 1 run but was cancelled in the last two shows, cancelling season 2.
HBO released a statement on how they handled the situation after the media and PETA attacked them from repeated horse deaths. The flare up from PETA was inflamed by the Los Angeles Times when they released a copy of the March 6th letter to Michael Lombardo, the HBO president of programming. The letter was from PETA’s vice president of laboratory investigations, Kathy Guillermo. Kathy’s letter said:
“We are hearing from multiple credible sources that horses are once again at risk on the set of ‘Luck.’
“We understand that there are currently no licensed humane officers on the set. This is inexplicable, unacceptable, and dangerous. While the American Humane Association may have a representative present for filming, this is inadequate. We ask you to return at least one, and preferably more, California licensed humane officers to the set and to ensure that their recommendations about the choice of the horses used and the filming methods are followed to the letter.
“During the filming of the first season, there were reportedly four humane officers monitoring the use of horses. We are told that the production company, to its shame, did not always follow their advice, and this accounts, at least in part, for the two deaths during filming. These officers had rejected as unfit a number of horses who, we are now told, have been returned to the ‘Luck’ set for the filming of the second season.”
The final straw was when a third horse died on set when the horse was being walked back to a barn. The horse had shifted backwards on it’s hind feet and fell down to the ground getting injuries that led to a euthanization. HBO released their statement about the unfortunate situation and cancelling of Luck Season 2. HBO’s statement read:
“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.”
Michael Mann and David Milch said, “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.”