According to an HBO press release (via TVbytheNumbers), the network has “decided to cease all future production” of the series LUCK, the critically lauded horse racing drama acting as a proxy OTB for the rest of us. Apparently too many horses were dying, yet, it was still a “difficult decision” to make, met “with heartbreak” according to HBO reps. This is a strange predicament for a series to find itself, a series with so much promise and talent and Hoffman. LUCK had already been promised a second return season, as is customary with anything on HBO even slightly notable. The plan is usually to allow the audience to come to them in the second season, after the critical buzz, season one DVD sales, and Netflix queues. The possibility of buzz for LUCK being positive turned fairly slim with the injury and eventual euthanization of a third horse on set and Peta‘s persistent campaign against the network.

Earlier reports suggested simply a suspension of pony play during the early stages of production of season two, but HBO pulled the plug on Wednesday. Many will speculate on the moral merits of the decision, but the capitalistic merits are clear. Bad publicity is to be avoided like the plague when the game is money making by way of Emmy chasing.

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