NBC calls "Playboy Club" a "fun soap opera"

Mon Aug 1, 2011 4:43pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC executives on Monday defended the network's controversial new drama "The Playboy Club", describing it as a "fun soap opera" and saying that its sexual content would be mild.

Stars of the drama -- set in the 1960s in the first Playboy Club -- also rejected criticism that the show will glamorize the porn industry and depict the club's Bunnie employees as exploited women.

"In terms of content, it will be mild," executive producer Ian Biederman told television reporters. "These are characters who are in a certain time and certain place. The show will be a lot of fun, it will have a ton of music and lots of energy."

Even before it begins airing in September, "The Playboy Club" has been targeted by the Parents Television Council, which last week said it "glorifies and glamorizes this insidious (porn) industry" and urged NBC affiliates not to broadcast it.

NBC's Salt Lake City affiliate has already announced it will not air the show when it starts on September 19.

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said he wasn't surprised by that decision but said he thought every other affiliate will be airing the show.

"What it has going for it is a recognizable brand that's automatically going to draw attention to it, good or bad," Greenblatt said.

African American actress Naturi Naughton, whose character is referred to as "the chocolate Bunny," rejected the notion that the women working at the club in the early 1960s were merely sex objects.   Continued...

<p>A Playboy Club Macao Logo is pictured during a promotional event for the upcoming opening of the Playboy club in Macau October 15, 2010. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu</p>