In a sudden and surprising decision, HBO has decided to permanently end production on the horse-racing drama Luck after a third horse had to be euthanized as a result of an on-set accident. The show, created by production superstars David Milch and Michael Mann and starring Dustin Hoffman as a high-stakes gambler, had two horses die during the filming of the first season while a third had to be put down on Tuesday. A HBO statement said, in part, "accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future." In other words, you simply can't film a TV show featuring real horse races without real horses getting hurt, so there's no point in trying anymore. That actually says more about the dangerous nature of horse racing — where horses and humans get hurt more often than most people realize — than it does about television production. (The horse that died on Tuesday was actually hurt while on the way to the barn, not while running. These things happen a lot.) HBO even claimed that it has had fewer incidents than one would find on a typical horse farm or race track, but rather than deal with PETA and Humane Society investigations every time those incidents happens, it was easier to just pull the plug. The final two unaired episodes of the first season will still be shown this month.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.