'Luck' cancelled after third horse dies on set

HBO has sensationally cancelled one of its biggest shows in the wake of animal deaths on set. 'Luck' starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte has been axed.

The show, which was created by David Milch (of 'Deadwood' and 'NYPD Blue' fame) alongside Michael Mann ('Miami Vice', 'Heat') had only just been renewed for a second season.

While it hadn't performed as well in the ratings as would be expected for the talent involved, the horse racing/gangster drama was earning solid reviews and a growing appreciation.

In a statement, the network and the show’s creators explained the reasoning behind the move to stop the show: "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."

Following that, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) released their own statement backing HBO's move and adding a few more flames to the fire: "Knowing that old, unfit, and drugged horses were forced to race for this series, PETA is glad that HBO has finally decided to cancel the show."

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