NBC orders up ‘Playboy’ pilot

Hour-long drama to be set in 1960s clubs

NBC has ordered a subscription to “Playboy” — but for the stories.

Peacock gave the drama script “Playboy” its first pilot greenlight of the season late Tuesday. The hour-long drama is set in the frisky world of 1960s Playboy clubs.

Chad Hodge (“Tru Calling”) wrote the script, which focuses on a group of women working as Playboy bunnies in the New York club. “Playboy” will use that as a jumping-off point to explore the nation’s changing mores and the coming sexual revolution.

Twentieth Century Fox TV and Imagine TV are behind the project; Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo also exec produce, along with Hodge. Project was developed last year with a different writer.

“Playboy” comes as network execs find themselves drawn to the time period (in the wake of “Mad Men’s” critical acclaim). Starz recently gave a 10-episode order to the 1960s Miami series “Magic City,” while ABC is developing “Pan Am,” centering on the airline’s wild crew in the 1960s.

“Playboy” also comes just as the real-life Playboy Enterprises looks to revive the Playboy Club franchise around the globe.

Just last month, the new Playboy Club Macao opened at the Sands Macao casino in Macau. According to Time, Playboy hopes to open around 20 clubs in the next few years, including locations already in the works in Cancun, Mexico, and London.

The Playboy Club name was first revived in 2006, when a location was opened at the Palms hotel in Las Vegas.

The original clubs, famous for their staff of women dressed in bunny outfits, once numbered 22 around the world. More than a million members paid a fee to become “keyholders.”

But the clubs eventually went out of vogue, with the last U.S. location, in Lansing, Mich., closing in 1988. The final international Playboy Club, in Manila, closed in 1991.

News also comes as Playboy itself looks to make a splash with more mainstream TV fare. Playboy TV is set to unveil its new “TV for 2” slate of “sexy reality shows, uncensored specials and documentary series” to TV critics on Thursday.

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