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HBO OKs Milch’s ‘Luck,’ Starring Dustin Hoffman

Michael Mann directed the pilot, with an all-star cast; will be Milch’s third series for the network

David Milch continues his partnership with HBO.

The Milch-penned drama "Luck" will be the network's newest series, programming president Michael Lombardo announced Wednesday.

Set in the world of high stakes horseracing, the show boasts an all-star cast led by Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.

Michael Mann directed the pilot, which also features Richard Kind, John Ortiz, Kevin Dunn, Jason Gedrick, Richie Coster, Ian Hart, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon and Gary Stevens.

"Luck" is Milch's third show for for HBO after Western drama "Deadwood" and the short-lived surfer fantasy "John From Cincinnati." He executive produced "Luck" along with Mann and Carolyn Strauss. HBO picked up the pilot order for "Luck" back in January.

The show's premise should be close to Milch's heart. He has admitted to being a compulsive gambler in the past, in addition to struggling with heroin addiction. In a 2005 New Yorker profile, Milch said he now limits himself to gambling on horse racing. The show creator also owns several horses that have raced all over the world. His horses won the Breeders' Cup races in 1992 and 2001.

HBO has long been known as the marquee brand in original cable programming, but in recent years, its competitors have gained ground. For the first time this year, two other cable networks — AMC and Showtime — earned more Emmy nominations than HBO. 

“Michael Mann delivered a pilot from David Milch’s brilliant script that took our breath away … We are truly excited that these two artists, and our extraordinary cast headed by Dustin Hoffman, will be bringing 'Luck' to life,” Lombardo said in a statement.

Shooting for the show begins this fall at Santa Anita Park and other locations in the L.A. area.  

Milch got his start writing for "Hill Street Blues" in the eighties. He went on to co-create "NYPD Blue" with Steve Bochco.