HBO Cancels Luck After Third Horse Dies During Production

It's nothing but fun and ratings until the horses start dying.

HBO's horse racing/mobster/gambling series Luck came under increased scrutiny yesterday after a horse died from falling backwards and slamming its head into the ground. It was the third such horse death since production began in 2010.

Initial reports this afternoon were that filming of racing scenes would be halted pending an investigation, but HBO just made the full cancellation official:

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.

[EW.com]