HBO cancels Luck after third horse dies

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Insert-bad-luck-pun-joke-here: HBO has pulled the plug on the David Milch horse-racing drama Luck after a third horse died during production. The show, which stars Dustin Hoffman as a former (ish?) mobster and current racehorse owner, came under fire from PETA and others when two horses were euthanized last month after sustaining injuries on set. When the third horse died, HBO initially suspended only filming that involved the animals while they looked into the matter, but it seems the brass didn't take long to decide that the show couldn't continue with horses and couldn't continue without them.

(Incidentally: bad week for horses, as a contestant was kicked off reality show Full Metal Jousting for punching a horse in the face. Really, guy?)

HBO's official statement assured us that the show had only the highest safety standards throughout production, but clearly continuing shooting posed too big of a risk: "Accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.  Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision." It should be worth noting that if the show's ratings were higher — like Milch's last series, John From Cincinnati, it was a bit of a non-starter — the premium network might have gambled on the show a bit longer. The first season of the show had already wrapped, so if you're one of the ten people who loved Luck, you might be able to get some closure from the finale.