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Luck is an American, live action drama that focuses on the underhanded dealings of the horse racing industry. The show stars Dustin Hoffman as Chester (Ace) Bernstein, a professional mobster who is just released from prison. After a successful career in organized crime, particularly in illegal gambling, Ace expresses interest in taking over the Santa Anita racetrack when he learns his friend and driver Gus (Dennis Farina) has purchased a horse named Pint of Plain that is training there.

Ace's main goal is to take possession of the race track in order to incorporate casino gambling. However, the underlying reason to control Santa Anita is to take revenge against the people who put him in federal prison for three years. This includes his former business partners Nick DiRossi (Alan Rosenberg) and Isadore Cohen (Ted Levine). Also on Ace's Radar is Michael Smythe (Michael Gambon), an associate who stashed a large amount of cocaine in one of Ace's apartments - the reason he ended up in prison.

Created by television veteran David Milch, Luck was produced by him, Dustin Hoffman, and Michael Mann, who directed the pilot episode. It premiered on the pay cable network HBO in December of 2011. Besides those already mentioned, Luck starred Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, Jason Gedrick, Gary Stevens, Jill Hennessy, and Nick Nolte.

Though the network renewed Luck for a second, 10-episode season soon after it premiered, it was canceled in March of 2012 due to safety concerns after a third horse trained at Santa Anita and used in the series died. The remainder of the first season episodes, nine in total, continued to air until March. Luck was released on Blu-ray and DVD in November of 2012.

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HBO
1 Season, 9 Episodes - Canceled/Ended
Drama
7.4/10
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Luck Full Episode Guide

  • In the series finale, Gus draws on past experience to deal with a present threat, and Ace is shocked by a surprise visitor. Meanwhile, Walter's Gettin' Up Morning and Gus' Pint of Plain wow the crowd in the Western Derby; Mon Gateau's owners prepare for their biggest race so far; and Escalante continues to check on Jo's condition.

  • Ace enjoys his visit to the prison-outreach retirement farm for horses, while Nathan Israel struggles to persuade Ace's new partners of his boss' sincerity. Meanwhile, Walter discusses Gettin' Up Morning's ownership with a lawyer and chooses his next rider; Jerry teams up with a card dealer to play their way into a poker tournament; and Rosie asks Joey for representation.

  • Ace meets with a track owner and his parole officer, but sends Nathan Israel to talk shop with his fellow scheming investors. Meanwhile, an earthquake has an unexpected effect on Joey's state of mind; and Leon and Rosie find their racing skills questioned by higher authorities.

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'Luck' Cancelled, After Allegations of Animal Abuse

HBO has cancelled its second season of horse-race based series “Luck,” starring Dustin Hoffman, after the death of three horses during filming. The network is under heat after Barbara Casey, the previous director of production for the American Humane Association's film and television unit, has accused HBO, Stewart Productions, and the American Humane Association (AHA) of covering up abuse issues and safety violations that led to the poor treatment and/or death of the on-set horses.

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HBO Cancels 'Luck' After Multiple Horse Deaths

We hardly knew ye "Luck"! The HBO drama about horse racing featuring the star power of Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte has officially closed up shop today, according a statement from HBO. This is hot on the heels of several scandals of the equine-death variety. At least three horses that starred in the booze-soaked tale of gambling on horse races have died since the show started production. This has angered animal rights activists and drawn sharp criticisms. Below is the full release from HBO Networks on the cancellation of "Luck": 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.

Third Death Suspends Horse-Race Shooting On HBO's 'Luck'

Three horses have died and People for the Ethical Treament of Animals now want's HBO's racing drama "Luck" taken behind the barn with a shotgun. The notorious animal-rights activists have demanded that the premium cable network shut down the talked-about new drama's production after a horse was severely injured Tuesday while returning to its stall and was put down, said The Hollywood Reporter. HBO has indeed temporarily suspended shooting racing scenes following the incident while filming the show's second season, but a public PETA statement released late Tuesday demands more swift, permanent action.

HBO's 'Luck' Lives Up To Title, Gets Instant Renewal

It's rare one show's title seems so fortuitous. Defying even irony's definition, HBO's "Luck" premiere didn't score the rosiest Sunday numbers - 1.1 million viewers in its 9 PM ET/PT slot, followed by 711,000 for the 10 PM replay and 420,000 for the 11 PM encore - but did well enough that the Michael Mann and David Milch-produced horses-and-gamblers drama received an immediate 10-episode order, reports Deadline. Mann and Milch had already been developing the next season's scripts before receiving the official pick-up, and due to a finite window for Santa Anita racetrack shooting, Deadline reports that shooting should begin toward late February with a January 2013 premiere in mind.

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