The time has come again for new TV shows to fight it out for viewers in the new fall line-up, but is one show too racy for certain viewers?
The new drama about the activities of the original Playboy Club and bunnies in 1960s Chicago will not be aired on NBC’s SLC affiliate KSL-TV. Although the show isn’t anticipated to be particularly crude, it will indeed emphasize more of the realistic criminal side of the older days of the Playboy world, highlighting that decades top entertainers and gamblers.
The owner of KSL, Desert Media Companies, has a very simple reason for the disagreement: it’s owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-day Saints. With the LDS Church standing strongly against pornography, gambling and addictive substances, there seems to be no doubt whether or not they would play the scandalous show.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Deseret Media Companies, Mark Willes toldthe Deseret News, “We’ve only seen pilots for this and other upcoming NBC shows, so comparing the content of these shows might be difficult at this stage. The Playboy Club is different in our view in at least one important way, however: It promotes a brand that we just cannot support. We would be helping to build a brand that stands for pornography. For us, that’s just untenable.”
Willes goes on to tell the newspaper, “We would never accept an ad from The Playboy Club, just as we don’t accept ads for alcohol or gambling.”
Deseret Media Companies has recently marketed an anti-pornography campaign called “Out in the Light.” The chair of the campaign Michelle Torsak, who is also the Vice President of Programming for KSL said, “Airing a show that carries the Playboy name is not something KSL cares to do.”
According to Torsak, Playboy is only the beginning for people who become addicted to pornography. She also notes that the TV show is not being censored and has no doubt it will be picked up by another station.
“While we are disappointed with KSL’s decision, we are confident that the show will find another home in the Salt Lake City market,” said NBC Chicago in a public statement.
KSL also refused to air earlier NBC shows, like God, the Devil and Bob and Coupling.
“Expect the show to air on Salt Lake City’s CW station instead,” writes Lisa de Moraesin the Washington Post’s TV Column blog. “NBC tends to hand them its programming when it gets bumped by KSL.”
Playboy Club will debut on Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. eastern time.