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America’s Next Top (Naked Playboy) Model

Playboy Playboy TV has been quietly seeking ways to get into the series programming business in a more ambitious way, the latest example being “Playboy Shootout,” which premieres April 3.

Essentially, it’s “Beauty and the Geek” meets “America’s Next Top Model,” with 10 aspiring centerfold candidates paired by luck of the draw with 10 photographers, in an elimination game that counts down to picking a winner.

It’s a shrewd move — casting the format in a package that women are accustomed to watching on more traditional channels, while including plenty of nudity to give men a reason to tune in. (A rather ham-fisted stereotype, I admit, but in this case, that’s surely how the calculus went.)

In TV terms, as with most reality TV, there’s a lot more foreplay than action. But you do learn some things about how a pictorial gets done, with one photographer grousing, “I’ve never once done a shoot with a model where she had any say in anything,” as he’s getting bossed around by his partner regarding how she wants to be shot.

Brande Roderick, a former Playmate of the Year, hosts the show. It won’t give “The Amazing Race” a run for its money at this year’s Emmys, necessarily, but it is another example of just how many options there are in the unscripted series game — and how little of it breaks out of what’s become the established mold.

Or, loosely translated into blogger terms, TRAFFIC!

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