LUCK is a behind-the-track look at the world of horse racing and gambling’s denizens – owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers. Michael Mann assembled a brilliant cast led by Hoffman and Nolte when he directed the pilot, written by series creator David Milch. In making the episodes as executive producers, they work collaboratively together, with Milch masterfully overseeing the writing for the series and Mann supervising every aspect of the filmmaking. LUCK was filmed at Santa Anita Park and other Los Angeles locations.
As the series opens, Chester “Ace” Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) is released from three years in federal prison. He’s met by his driver and bodyguard, Gus Demitriou (Dennis Farina), who fronts as the owner of the $2 million Irish Horse that Ace just bought. A brilliant but disreputable trainer, the Peruvian Turo Escalante (John Ortiz), introduces us to their prized Irish thoroughbred, who is being examined by his girlfriend, track veterinarian Jo (Jill Hennessy).
Meanwhile, veteran trainer-turned-owner Walter Smith (Nick Nolte) contains his optimism pinned on his promising “Big Horse” because he’s wary. Of what, we’re unsure, but we learn there’s a dark history and a shadow of scandal behind the horse.
Four degenerate gamblers, Marcus (Kevin Dunn), Renzo (Ritchie Coster), Jerry (Jason Gedrick), and Lonnie (Ian Hart), meanwhile, are pooling their meager resources to bet Jerry’s hunch on the day’s long shot, a high-stakes Pick Six winners contest.
Despite HBO commissioning a second season there were ongoing concerns from animal rights organisations about the horses used on the show. Three horses died during the filming of the first season.
The following was issued by HBO on 14 March 2012… 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.
Dustin Hoffman as Chester Bernstein
Dennis Farina as Gus Demitriou
John Ortiz as Turo Escalante
Richard Kind as Joey Rathburn
Jill Hennessy as Jo
Nick Nolte as Walter Smith
Kevin Dunn as Marcus
Ian Hart as Lonnie
Ritchie Coster as Renzo
Jason Gedrick as Jerry
Kerry Condon as Rosie
Gary Stevens as Ronnie Jenkins
Tom Payne as Leon Micheaux
Joan Allen as Claire Lachay
Alan Rosenberg as Nick DeRossi
Michael Gambon as Michael
Ted Levine as Isadore Cohen
Chantal Sutherland as Lizzy
Shauna Stoddart as Lorelei
Creator and Executive Producer: David Milch
Executive Producers: Michael Mann, Carolyn Strauss
Producer: Dustin Hoffman
Network and Production Companies: HBO
Duration: 9×60 minute episodes
Aired From: 12/11/2011 – 3/25/2012
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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