HBO's horse racing show 'Luck' gets canceled

Actor/producer Dustin Hoffman arrives at the premiere of HBO's 'Luck' at the Chinese Theater on January 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. The show was just cancelled after three horses died during filming.

Jeremy Hobson: HBO is canceling its new horse racing show "Luck" starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. It's not being canceled because of ratings -- it's being canceled because three horses have died in production of the show.

Marketplace's Gregory Warner reports.


Gregory Warner: The series was known for its raw look at the make or break world of thoroughbred racing, from the gamblers to the owners to the jockeys, every character seemed to be living on the edge of their ability.

'Luck' clip: This is sort of a zero sum game -- you either make weight, or you don't. You're on the horse or you're not.

And this show is not, anymore. After Outlaw Yodeler, then Marc's Shadow, and finally a third racing horse died after injuries suffered on the set, HBO bowed to criticism and cancelled the series. The final episode airs at the end of the month.

Ray Paulick: Well I'm surprised that there were three deaths because they've used the association that helps television and production companies oversee animals being uses in films and TV.

Ray Paulick is publisher of the Paulick Report, a blog about the thoroughbred industry. HBO claims its safety standards exceeded the standards you find on real racetracks. Paulick says thoroughbred racing is unique in that it has no national mandated standards. It's a state-by-state industry.

I'm Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

About the author

Gregory Warner is a senior reporter covering the economics and business of healthcare for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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