Time Warner suffers a loss of $35 million after cancelling the HBO hit “Luck” which starred Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.
During the filming of Luck, the television horse-racing drama, three horses were injured and had to be put down. The show was in the middle of filming its second season, when the cable network was forced to cancel the show.
Two horses were euthanized previously, one during the 2010 recording and one during the 2011 recording for season one. HBO had already allowed the producers to begin filming for the second season, but quickly called a halt to production after they were notified about the third horse. The horse was injured after the horse reared, fell backwards, and hit its head on the ground as it was walking back to its stall.
After the third horse was injured, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals from Los Angeles prompted the county district attorney’s office to investigate the deaths of all three horses. PETA also claimed that they obtained evidence from a whistleblower that showed the animals were not provided for properly. Evidence obtained from the whistleblower includes documents from the American Humane Association, which was in charge of overseeing the treatment of the fifty horses for the show while production was taking place.
At the end of the first quarter, Time Warner reported that their three month net profit fell from $651 million to $581 million. In addition to lost revenues, the company claims they were hit with a $35 million impairment charge for cancelling Luck.
A large percentage of the $35 million lost by Time Warner was related to the cancellation of Luck, as it was spent paying off commitments to the creators and stars of the show. In addition, the cable network also used a percentage of the money to pay for production commitments on the series.