While TMZ may be giving themselves too much credit for the demise of HBO’s “Luck,” we were intrigued by the audio they somehow managed to get from the meeting where creator David Milch and director Michael Mann told the show’s cast and crew that they were shutting production down. In it, Mann seems to blame the coverage from TMZ and other media outlets for putting the pressure on HBO to shut things down.
As we’ve discussed, a horse had to be euthanized after injuring itself during the shooting of the second episode of the show’s second season. It was the third horse that’s had to be euthanized since the show started production; after first thinking that they could just avoid shooting racing scenes, the network and producers shut things down for good, figuring they couldn’t prevent more mishaps.
As Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said their decision was probably more about bad buzz than anything else, and Mann’s assertion on this recording supports that notion.
“If you take a look at the media coverage that has been spun unfairly. If you saw the media coverage… It’s TMZ and everybody else,” he tells the gathered group.
If that seems reactionary, remember that in their announcement about the show’s end, HBO even took pains to say that they didn’t think their environment was unsafe. “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.”
So, in a way, TMZ and the rest of the media was probably the reason why the show shut down. But saying so in a bad way seems disingenuous to us; they were all just reporting what happened. If HBO didn’t care about the perception of the show and network, they would have keep the show going.