HBO's new drama Luck, which we featured on our TV column last month, has been cancelled. The show, which follows the events at Santa Anita Park and the trainers, jockeys and gamblers who spend their days at the track, has halted production of its second season after the death of a third horse.
The show has faced criticism about its harm of animals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the American Humane Association. PETA had called on Luck producers to use stock racing footage rather than risk injury to the horses during filming.
"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.'"
The show, which I'm surprised has gotten low ratings and minimal viewing response, is a tense, gritty look at gambling and the world of horse racing. The scenes of actual horse racing are beautiful and consuming. Unfortunately, producers couldn't reenact such intense scenes without accidents and injuries, which justifiably led to this decision. It's too bad that a show meant to celebrate the animals won't be able to continue.
Luck will continue to air its first and only season, at 9 p.m. Sundays. There are two episodes remaining, with the series finale on March 25.
Upon reading recent entertainment news, you may find yourself wondering, “Are awards shows are still happening?” The answer is yes, but not anything that really counts.
The MTV Movie Awards took place Monday night, hosted by the Australian fireball that is Rebel Wilson. She’s stolen scenes in Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect and Workaholics, and while she made a good host for the second-rate, teen-targeted show, it was kind of disappointing that 90 percent of her jokes were about either her vagina or her weight. Other low points included Taylor Lautner’s attempt at comedy (Side Note: How will the MTV Movie Awards live on now that the Twilight series is over?), Selena Gomez’s possibly offensive Bollywood-inspired performance and the fact that the whole production was essentially a giant lead-up to the premiere of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer (Oh, that’s how the show will continue…).
But there were some quality moments, namely during the Comedic Genius award presentation.
Peter Dinklage presented this prestigious prize to Will Ferrell (they worked together in Elf) and you could tell that The Dinks was thinking, “Don’t these people know I am Tyrion Lannister? I am too good for this shit,” the whole damn time. Ferrell came out in a money-printed suit, dropping classic WF hilarity (aka saying literally anything in his Ron Burgundy voice) and sufficiently creating plenty of buzz for the forthcoming Anchorman sequel. The best part, however, was when a shwasted Aubrey Plaza stormed the stage during Will’s acceptance speech. With glazed-over eyes, a plastic cup of booze and “# The To Do List,” (her upcoming movie) written on her chest, the actress hopped onstage, half-heartedly tried to grab the popcorn award from Will’s hands, quickly realized how this looked to everyone else, then ran back to her seat. Ferrell did not take this opportunity to embarrass her further, as she clearly regretted the stunt immediately.