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New HBO Drama Series LUCK to Debut 1/29

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LUCK-20010101

From acclaimed director Michael Mann and "Deadwood" creator David Milch, the nine-episode season of LUCK, starring Oscar(R) winner Dustin Hoffman and Oscar(R) nominee Nick Nolte, debuts SUNDAY, JAN. 29 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT), with other episodes debuting on subsequent Sundays at the same time.

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.

LUCK also stars Richard Kind as jockey agent Joey Rathburn; Tom Payne as a beginner jockey Leon, a.k.a. "Bug Boy"; Kerry Condon as Rosie, an exercise girl with jockey ambitions; and real-life racing Hall of Famer Gary Stevens as Ronnie Jenkins, a talented but boozy veteran jockey.

Continuing guest stars on the series include Patrick J. Adams, Joan Allen, W. Earl Brown, Bruce Davison, Spencer Garrett, Barry Shabaka Henley, Ted Levine, Jurgen Prochnow, Alan Rosenberg, Mercedes Ruehl, Chantal Sutherland and Sir Michael Gambon.

January's episode:

Episode #1: "Pilot"

Debut: SUNDAY, JAN. 29 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: Jan. 29 (10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), 30 (9:00 p.m.) and 31 (11:00 p.m.), and Feb. 1 (10:00 p.m.), 4 (12:45 a.m. ET/9:45 p.m. PT), 7 (10:00 p.m.), 8 (9:00 p.m.) and 11 (10:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Jan. 30 (8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.) and Feb. 2 (midnight), 3 (9:00 p.m.), 5 (2:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.) and 16 (8:00 p.m.)

Released from prison after three years, "Ace" Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) plots revenge against the colleagues who betrayed him. With his trusted aide/chauffeur Gus Demitriou (Dennis Farina) acting as a front for his race horse investment, Ace seeks to reverse the sagging fortunes of a famous racetrack. Meanwhile, four dissolute gamblers at the race track - Jerry (Jason Gedrick), Marcus (Kevin Dunn), Renzo (Ritchie Coster) and Lonnie (Ian Hart) - pool their meager resources to make a Pick Six bet that could be worth millions. A key to their fortunes is a long-shot horse trained by Turo Escalante (John Ortiz), a self-made success story with loads of talent and few scruples, who's also training Gus/Ace's colt. Walter Smith (Nick Nolte), another more grizzled trainer, sees classic potential in an untested thoroughbred with impressive bloodlines.

Written by David Milch; directed by Michael Mann.

Episode two is directed by Terry George and written by John R. Perrotta; episode three is directed by Allen Coulter and written by Bill Barich; episode four is directed by Phillip Noyce and written by Jay Hovdey; episode five is directed by Brian Kirk and written by Scott Willson; episode six is directed by Henry Bronchtein and written by Robin Shushan; episode seven is directed by Brian Kirk and written by Amanda Ferguson; episode eight is directed by Allen Coulter and written by John R. Perrotta & Jay Hovdey; and episode nine is directed by Mimi Leder and written by Eric Roth.

The executive producers of LUCK are David Milch, Michael Mann and Carolyn Strauss; co-executive producers are Henry Bronchtein and Eric Roth; Dustin Hoffman serves as producer.

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