Nellie Andreeva

TV watchdog Parents Television Council already targeted NBC’s new drama The Playboy Club during the pilot stage, blasting parent Comcast over nudity clauses in the actors’ contracts. Now, following a Mormon Church-owned Utah NBC affiliate’s decision not to carry the show, the PTC is urging more stations to follow suit and preempt the drama set in the 1960s at the first Playboy Club in Chicago. The PTC mocks the official series description, “a sophisticated series about the transitional times of the early 1960s and the complex lives of a group of working-class women.” “Putting a veneer of sophistication on an industry that exploits women and destroys families is not laudable, it is disgraceful,” PTC president Tim Winter wrote in letters sent out to NBC stations around the country. “In what manner does such the airing of such material reconcile with your public interest obligations as a broadcast licensee?”

The letter quotes Shelley Lubben, founder of the Pink Cross Foundation, described as “an organization dedicated to helping victims of the pornography industry,” who claims that “NBC is breaking the law with this show. They’re not meeting FCC standards.” The letter features both a plea with station owners/managers not to air Playboy Club and a threat of possible FCC fines if they do. ”If you proceed with plans to air this series in your community, be assured that the Parents Television Council will be carefully reviewing every episode and will urge its members to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission about any content that may be in violation of broadcast decency laws.” Additionally, PTC demands that stations stop airing promos for the show before 10 PM. The Playboy Club is undergoing retooling with about 30% of the pilot being reshot. But sources say that the reshoots are driven by the network’s desire to pump up the action and move the plot faster, not by complaints by watch groups.

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