HBO Series Luck Renewed for Second Season
Gambling fans have a new series to tune into each week with HBO's new original series Luck starring Dustin Hoffman and a host of other well-known actors getting picked up for a second season.
Luck debuted on January 29 and was immediately picked up by HBO for a second season, with strong ratings and generally favorable reviews from critics. Created by David Marsh (who was also the brains behind other hit television series such as NYPD Blue and Deadwood), the show is centered around the Santa Anita Racetrack in California, with the plot and characters revolving around the common thread of horseracing and gambling.
Hoffman plays Chester "Ace" Bernstein, emerging from a short stint in a federal prison and immediately re-entering the world of high-stakes gambling and power struggles. Ace embarks on a plan to gain control of the racetrack in order to introduce casio gambling -- as well as revealing other plans to get revenge on those responsible for sending him to prison in the first place.
While Ace's world is one of opulence and wealth -- with a nod to past ties to organized crime -- other threads in the plot include characters from all walks of life, including poker junkies, horse trainers, jockeys, and assorted railbirds and hanger-ons that call the racetrack home.
The pilot episode was directed by Michael Mann and showcases a strong cast in addition to Hoffman, with Dennis Farina, Nick Nolte, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, and Ian Hart just a few of the other famous actors taking part in the series.
Gambling themes have played a major role in other films and television series but usually in a more cursory fashion -- think Oceans 11 and The Hangover -- with very few television series or films delving as deeply into the daily life in the world of gambling as Luck does.
The series premier drew just over 1 million veiwers and drew largely positive reviews, with many praising the acting of Hoffman and others and lauding the directing and writing of Mann and Marsh.