Hbo's Luck Runs Out Of It
For a show titled Luck , the HBO drama has had little of it. Despite a cast that includes Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte and a clutch of executive producers that includes David Milch and Michael Mann, Luck drew just 1.1 million viewers in its debut last year and averaged 500,000 during its nine-episode run. Set at a racetrack and featuring several racehorses, the show drew negative publicity in its first season when two of the horses died during filming. A third horse died this week, and while the producers took a -these-things-happen attitude toward the deaths, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has maintained that the producers had ignored animal safety experts who had been critical of the conditions that the horses had been working under. The Los Angeles Times reported today (Thursday) that PETA had fired off a letter to HBO only last week, saying, "During the filming of the first season, there were reportedly four humane officers monitoring the use of horses. We are told that the production company, to its shame, did not always follow their advice, and this accounts, at least in part, for the two deaths during filming. These officers had rejected as unfit a number of horses who, we are now told, have been returned to the Luck set for the filming of the second season." Late Wednesday, HBO canceled the series, saying that while it regretted the deaths of the animals, it was not responsible for them. Moreover, it said, "Recent assertions of lax attitudes or negligence could not be further from the truth."