Playboy cribs from Gore’s playbook

Adult network takes cues from Current

Al Gore just won the Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm on global warning. But an even more lasting Gore legacy for men 18 to 34 might be his influence on Playboy TV.

Playboy has fallen in love with programming format of Current, the 24/7 network co-owned by Gore, which fills its schedule with shortform items covering trends (technology, fashion, etc.) and issues (the environment, relationships), all of it aimed at young-adult viewers.

The love affair reached a climax this month: Playboy TV, stagnant with a lineup of regularly scheduled half-hour and 60-minute series night after night, has scrapped its entire primetime grid, switching to short films and tapes ranging in length from a minute to 12 minutes.

Short features include news reports on the sex industry, short videos from the studio where Playboy tapes a radio show for Sirius and brief clips from the series “Hot Babes Doing Stuff Naked,” which shows naked women doing everything from dusting furniture to deep-sea fishing.

Playboy TV will sprinkle in clips from its conventional shows like “Totally Busted” and “Sexcetera.” But any new shows it commissions will have to be malleable enough to play in multiple forms.

Playboy will still combine many of them into half-hour and one-hour formats, but not for domestic consumption. The hours and half-hours are for foreign buyers, who prefer the tried-and-true.