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In the wake of the death of a horse - the third since filming on the series began - HBO and producers David Milch and Michael Mann announced that "Luck" has run out.

Production on the show has been shut down permanently.

This is not to minimize what happened, but a cynic might ask if this is an easy out. HBO renewed "Luck" almost as soon as it premiered, and ratings have been terrible. The series, headlined by Dustin Hoffman, went back into production in February despite those dreadful numbers.

Here's HBO's statement:

"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 horse racing 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."

And Milch and Mann issued this statement:

'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."