If you're curious how many horses corpses you have to create before HBO takes your show off the air, the answer is three horse corpses.
Following the untimely deaths of three horses that still had years of Nick Nolte love to give, HBO's Luck has been cancelled on the grounds that that's sort of a lot of horses to be going through. You can't just be sacrificing horses willy-nilly and expect to remain on a premium cable channel that is not targeted at horse murderers.
Two horses had to be put down last month and another horse angel reached horse heaven on Tuesday during shooting on the series' sophomore season, drawing to a halt to the show's production (of motionless horse bodies). That was enough horse death for executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann. They will not have all this horse blood on their hands. Michael Mann did not get in this business to be forever haunted by the doleful whinnying of several horse spectres. He got in this business to put Colin Farrell in a serious remake of Miami Vice.
Because only one episode of the second season had been shot, that show will be shelved and the series will end on the upcoming first season finale. Here's the official statement, in which Milch and Mann are like, "Hey, sorry about all the dead horses, but it's not like horses don't die in barns every night. Have you seen how many horses die in barns at night? You leave a horse in a barn overnight, you're flipping a coin to see if you wake up to a dead horse. These horses should be so lucky to die alongside Dustin Hoffman, instead of alone, in a barn, at night, which is where horses are constantly dying way more than on 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.
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.
Quote from Michael Mann and David Milch: "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."
Oh, well. The show was kind of boring, anyway. Not enough vivid horse death.