True Blood may be a Sopranos-era ratings success, but despite its randomly assigned Emmy nomination for Best Drama, it’s hardly a Sopranos-era critical success. (And while we wait to see what the second season has in store, the jury's still hung on Treme.) Thus, HBO is looking to bring in some serious pedigree with its new series Luck: According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has just given a series order to a pilot written by Deadwood scribe David Milch and directed by Michael Mann, and will pick up production in the fall with Dustin Hoffman leading a veteran cast of character actors.
Luck is described as a “provocative look at horse racing—the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players.” A previous announcement in March about Hoffman’s addition to the series said that he would star as an aging gambler who's released from prison after four years, only to return to the racetrack circuit as he's only ever known a life as a bookie and casino operator. Joining Hoffman on the show are Dennis Farina (as Hoffman’s chauffeur and bodyguard), John Ortiz (as a horse trainer), and Kevin Dunn, Richard Kind, Jason Gedrick, Ritchie Coster, Ian Hart, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens, and Nick Nolte in various supporting turns.