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The Playboy Club
The Playboy Club
TV Series
  • Category:
  • Cast:
    Randy Steinmeyer,Eddie Cibrian,David Krumholtz
  • Time:
    1h
Centers on the Bunnies and patrons of the original Playboy Club in 1960s Chicago.
Casts
Series cast summary:
Eddie Cibrian Eddie Cibrian - Nick Dalton 7 episodes, 2011
Laura Benanti Laura Benanti - Carol-Lynne Cunningham 7 episodes, 2011
Amber Heard Amber Heard - Maureen 7 episodes, 2011
Jenna Dewan Jenna Dewan - Janie 7 episodes, 2011
Naturi Naughton Naturi Naughton - Brenda 7 episodes, 2011
Leah Renee Leah Renee - Alice 7 episodes, 2011
Wes Ramsey Wes Ramsey - Max 7 episodes, 2011
Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis - Pearl 7 episodes, 2011
David Krumholtz David Krumholtz - Billy Rosen 7 episodes, 2011
Sean Maher Sean Maher - Sean Beasley 7 episodes, 2011
Katherine Cunningham Katherine Cunningham - Door Bunny Kate 5 episodes, 2011
Derin Adesida Derin Adesida - Hefette #2 / - 5 episodes, 2011
Heather Gunn Heather Gunn - Bunny 5 episodes, 2011
Ashley Lobo Ashley Lobo - Bunny 5 episodes, 2011
Deneen Melody Deneen Melody - Dancing Bunny / - 5 episodes, 2011
Troy Garity Troy Garity - John Bianchi 4 episodes, 2011
John Hoogenakker John Hoogenakker - Leo Bianchi 4 episodes, 2011
Cassidy Freeman Cassidy Freeman - Frances Dunhill 4 episodes, 2011
Erin Sutkay Erin Sutkay - Dancing Bunny 4 episodes, 2011
Kaitlan Welton Kaitlan Welton - Bunny 4 episodes, 2011
Alex Keener Alex Keener - Club Member 4 episodes
Jessica Joy Jessica Joy - Mildred 3 episodes, 2011
Christian Stolte Christian Stolte - Gus Bianchi 2 episodes, 2011
Michael Vieau Michael Vieau - City Worker / - 2 episodes, 2011
Phil Ridarelli Phil Ridarelli - Paul 2 episodes, 2011
Logan Vaughn Logan Vaughn - Hefette #2 / - 2 episodes, 2011
Whitney White Whitney White - Hefette #3 / - 2 episodes, 2011
Joel Gretsch Joel Gretsch - Jimmy Wallace 2 episodes, 2011
Greg Matthew Anderson Greg Matthew Anderson - Grant 2 episodes, 2011
Chris D. Thomas Chris D. Thomas - Key Holder 2 episodes, 2011
Tommy Beardmore Tommy Beardmore - Roger Anderson 2 episodes
Elizabeth Elam Elizabeth Elam - Herself 2 episodes
David A MacDonald David A MacDonald - Detective Kaufman 2 episodes
Daniella McBride Daniella McBride - Keyholder 2 episodes
Riley Smith Riley Smith - Wade 2 episodes

The Playboy Club

Most of the main cast members signed a nudity clause that allowed the production to shoot nude footage of them that would be utilized in international broadcasts and DVD releases of the episodes.

When production wrapped on October 10, 2011, show creator Chad Hodge and star Laura Benanti both confirmed that they had finished seven episodes, including the pilot. Benanti further stated that the seventh episode has two endings, one of which is more final to the series.

Hugh Hefner performed a voice-over narration during the pilot episode, but no such narration was recorded for the other episodes. A young version of Hefner was featured as a character in the show, but was only ever seen from behind. Show creator Chad Hodge said this was the result of a conscious decision to feature Hefner in the series but not give him a regular role, which the real-life Hefner approved of because, according to Hodge, "He didn't want to make it his story."

The costumes in The Playboy Club were designed by Isis Mussenden. She was not able to find any original Playboy Bunny uniforms, so she created her designs based on photos and consultations with Hugh Hefner. Each of the five female leads received two suits, each of which cost $3,000 and took about 10 hours to make. Each suit included a built-in bra, French cuffs with Playboy cuff links, satin ears and 3-inch heels. After the costumes were designed, Hefner had claimed they were not cut high enough on the leg, but Mussenden assured him the height was correct based on photos of Hefner with real-life bunnies.

The Pearl character (portrayed by Jenifer Lewis) was based on a real-life Playboy Club seamstress named Betty.

Shortly after this show premiered, Sean Maher, the actor playing Alice's closeted husband, also revealed to Entertainment Weekly Magazine that he was a gay man in his real life and during his 14-year career.

Only aired 3 episodes before it was canceled.

Jeff Hephner was originally cast as Nick Dalton, but after his first table read he was replaced by Eddie Cibrian.

A screenplay for an episode of the show titled 'The Girls of Hollywood' was registered to the U.S. Copyright Catalog after the show got cancelled, but the episode was never put into production.

Deeroman
Deeroman
When I started watching The Playboy Club I wasn't very hopeful... I was expecting a dodgy half baked drama with girls running around topless... I found the pilot plot Interesting, maybe a tad cliché, but it is a pilot after all! You can't expect miracles.

Admittedly the dialogue was a little rough and amateurish but it feels like it's heading in some interesting directions and will get better over time. Strangely the secondary story line between Alice and her husband seems far more interesting to me.

As for the comparisons to Mad Men I don't think they are in any way fair. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

Personally, I think it's much more interesting than half of the television shows some channels are pumping out.

Definitely worth watching for the first few episodes to see where it goes.
Brol
Brol
The show had a few faults but not enough to warrant a cancellation after only 7 episodes, NBC never really gave it a chance to last. If the show had debuted on AMC, FX, HBO or any cable network it would have been allowed a better chance to build an audience. But nowadays networks assume that if you don't instantly have a 10% share of its time slot right off the bat that it's a failure and there's no point in even going on with the show. Which is a ridiculous way of trying to build and cultivate new shows for a channel.

The show had very beautiful ladies in the roles as the playmates, most notably Amber Heard who's drop dead gorgeous. With her appearance in The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp she should have a bright future ahead of her.
Arar
Arar
I watched the premiere out of curiosity, and I was surprised to find a show that is both interesting and done in a very tasteful manner. I was worried about the depiction of female characters (for obvious reasons), but they are not depicted as simple sexual objects. On the contrary, these characters are shown as intelligent, independent, and resourceful.

Only two episodes aired to this day, but the potential for character development is there. The show manages to have some social and political themes, plus there is a bit of mystery, music, and humour.

The various actresses and actors (all people I didn't know) do a good job. I especially like Amber Heard, as Maureen (the main female character), Leah Renee Cudmore, and guest star Sean Maher.

Conclusion: it is a pretty decent show (and it changes from all the procedurals who stick to their unmovable, predictable, recipe).
Cells
Cells
I honestly loved it. I love Amber Heard, the main girl. She's one of my favorite up and coming actresses. I thought Eddie Cibrian was amazing too. David Krumhotlz portrayed the uptight jerk of a manager pretty well. There was a murder (accidental)before the first commercial break! There's a lot of drama. I think it's definitely more geared to women surprisingly. I don't think my husband would like it. It's mostly the life of the bunnies, which would appeal more to women. I don't know. I don't think you should watch it or not watch it based on someone else's review. If you want to watch, watch it and find out for yourself if it's your kind of show.
Faegal
Faegal
I am not at all sure what the other posters are watching, but to say this show is boring is completely off the mark. Then again, I guess it depends on what you are looking for.

An incredibly beautiful and quite talented cast tells the story of the Playboy Club, Hef's legendary Bunny-laden gentleman's club, circa 1963. In a time when the average woman was expected to be very domestic and agreeable, the Playboy Club profiles smart, sassy, intelligent women. The gorgeous & talented Amber Heard plays Maureen, a new Bunny who is the club's latest cigarette girl. She finds herself being aggressively cornered by a slimy client who tries to have his way with her. This event leads to what is sure to be the season's story, and I'm not going to spoil it by revealing the details, but let's say that it's a heavy burden for the sweet and, until now, rather innocent Bunny to carry.

Eddie Cibrian plays Nick Dalton, a former mobster-turned-up-and-coming attorney who stumbles upon Maureen's dilemma and becomes embroiled in assisting her. His ties to his old "family" pose quite a problem for a man trying to leave that life behind.

Then there's Laura Benanti who is intriguing as Carole Lynne, an aging Bunny with a superiority complex and also Dalton's current love interest.

In a period of mundane television where so many shows are alike, The Playboy Club shines like a diamond on a jewel-encrusted pair of bunny ears. The rest of the cast is great as well and each one has a story to tell. The character development is going to be a treat to watch. Several sub-plots with secondary characters have already been started, and I'm very much looking to see where it goes.

The Playboy Club is the cure for the common, boring, cookie-cutter, dumb-sitcom or annoying-reality show. If you enjoy smart writing, great acting and period dramas (like Mad Men, but way sexier), then you should definitely check this show out.

I give it a 9... out of 10.
Went Tyu
Went Tyu
I actually liked the show and wished they did not cancel it! I wish another network would pick it up. It does not matter to me if it really happened or not it had a good story line. It is ashame that people do not see that despite the exploitation that is what it was like back then to some degree! whatever I will miss it! People liked Mad Men but they do not like the playboy bunny club. The characters were just getting interesting. I could not wait to find out more about the relationship of the lead bunny. I could not wait to see the relationships unfold and characters develop more. I really hope another network picks up the show and it will continue!!
Nea
Nea
I think that the show was excellent! It was tensed and interesting till the end, and looks very promising. The cast is great, and not just Edie Cibrian. Maybe there are too many plots and mysteries, so I can not wait to watch another episode of it. I Like the 1960's theme and the outfit of the bunnies is so fit to the timing. I can tell that the main character bunny Morrean has a lot to offer for the show, and that these two will get in love or something. Anyway, can't wait! I think that the show was excellent! It was tensed and interesting till the end, and looks very promising. The cast is great, and not just Edie Cibrian. Maybe there are too many plots and mysteries, so I can not wait to watch another episode of it. I Like the 1960's theme and the outfit of the bunnies is so fit to the timing. I can tell that the main character bunny Morrean has a lot to offer for the show, and that these two will get in love or something. Anyway, can't wait!
Kazracage
Kazracage
This show definitely started off to a rocky start, but the more we see of all of the supporting cast, and all the other girl's stories, the better it gets. All of the women thus far are charming, and the new inclusion of Cassidy Freeman is fantastic (she was one of he best actors on Smallville). I'm also very intrigued to find out where the "in the closet support group" is going. I'm finding that pretty fascinating, and it's being handled very well. Both The Playboy Club, and Pan-Am seem to be geared more towards women, and there empowerment, but i'd argue that the playboy club is a little more "fun" to enjoy. I truly hope the show stays adrift, and encourage you to watch!
Truthcliff
Truthcliff
A refreshing show who's plot is not in a courtroom, law enforcement's building, hospital, or on a reality stage (like we don't have enough of those already). Great story lines, a cast that is not over-rated, and refreshing new faces.

Emphasizing the historical aspect of the show - being the first playboy club in the nation in Chicago - the story lines tackle homosexual ideologies, racial inequalities, criminal underlying in businesses and government, and the social divide that existed in the 60's, and in many cases still exist today!

I have seen many of the new pilots this year, and non compare to the Playboy Club.
Roram
Roram
I'm really upset that this show was cancelled. What do we have to do to get it back on the air? - I don't care where, just get it back on the air. What did I love about The Playboy Club? - The plot was great, - there was great music, - I loved the intrigue - I loved the nostalgia - I thought the depiction of Chicago in the early '60's was really good - I believed that the show had a great storyline - I believed that the show had enormous potential - I believed the show had great acting

Is there another network or cable provider that could pick this show up and continue to run with it? I think NBC made a huge mistake by dropping this show.
I'm a Russian Occupant
I'm a Russian Occupant
When I saw the trailer a couple of weeks before the premiere, I didn't really know what to expect, the first thing that came to my mind was "Oh, girls in bunny costumes, and they're all HOT.. I got to watch this!"

After I saw the first three episodes, I was like WOW, the story is AWESOME, nice drama with great music. I love it.

I think that this is a great TV show that portrays the 60's in a very nice way, true or not, it's very nice. If you compare the two TV shows this season that Talk about the 60's - Pan Am and The Playboy Club - they are both perfect, different point of views, but very interesting to watch.

And hey, what's better then beautiful girls in bunny costumes!!
Dorizius
Dorizius
EDIT: Unfortunately it was cancelled quite quickly. I enjoyed the show!

I was a college student in the 1960s, and as most college students did back then received most of my "sex education" via Playboy. We all read the articles, of course. But there was always this air of mystery surrounding it. As a young married adult in the 1970s I even went to the St Louis Playboy Club as a guest of a friend. So my watching this new TV series was just a natural development.

So far I am favorably impressed. The acting and stories are first-rate. The opening episode makes a very bold statement, when the local Chicago crime boss gets too fresh with a new Playmate in a secluded back room, she defends herself by kicking, and her spike heel kills him. It was not a murder, it was a self-defense accident, but killing the crime boss would mean the end of her too. If it was found out.

So this event pervades all subsequent episodes, which focus on different new issues each time, but the death and disappearance of the crime boss is never far from the surface.

Eddie Cibrian is Nick Dalton, legal counsel for the Playboy Club and thus hangs around there most of the time. He is also running for a political office, and the connections required for that also create good story lines.

Very pretty Amber Heard, from Texas, is one of the starting Playmates, Maureen. It is she who accidentally kills the crime boss when deflecting his unwanted advances.

Laura Benanti is the Bunny Mother, experienced and slightly older Carol-Lynne. She is also a singer, and entertains at the Club. Plus she and Nick are a couple, but she is often suspicious of his encounters with other women.

In a slightly perverse way my favorite may be Troy Garity as John Bianchi, son of the dead crime boss, who spends much of his attention looking for his missing father. He knows that he was last seen at the Playboy Club and just feels that someone there knows what happened. So he spends a lot of time there too. Many may not realize it, but Garity is Jane Fonda's son. I have seen him in several roles and didn't care for him in any of them. But with his somewhat garbled speaking manner, and his suspicious looks, is perfect in the role of the new crime boss looking for his missing father. He is my "quirky character" in this TV series.

Of note, the scripts take pains to paint the Bunnies as regular girls, clean and wholesome, just trying to make their way through life. Not as promiscuous Bunnies that we often assume are the occupants of the mansion in California. I suspect the characterization for the 1960s is pretty accurate.

MAJOR SPOILERS: When the crime boss was killed Nick Dalton was present, attempting to help protect the Bunny. By duty he should have reported to the police what happened. Instead he and Maureen wrapped up the body, added some weight, and dumped it in a nearby waterway. That is why he vanished. My own suspicion is that the body will be discovered in a future episode, to create additional opportunities for story lines.
Risa
Risa
I have only watched the pilot to date- I am going to watch the second episode tonight. I give this show a 10 out of 10 for it's production value. However, the story is admittedly less than masterful, led by a mix of characters that so far feel relatively underdeveloped. However, it's only the pilot episode! It took me at least 4-6 episodes to fully become a loyal fan of "Mad Men." Furthermore, this show is first and foremost supposed to be a fluffy good time. I applaud this show for having as much sex appeal as it does on broadcast TV. Because, s show is this sexy does not mean people should be extra critical of it. The pilot offers some fine moments. I was intrigued at the dorm-like community of the playboy mansion. One can only hope this show introduces new tidbits down the road. One priceless scene involves Amber Heard joining a group of the bunnies dancing in the club. The joy on their faces and their moves filled me with some joy.

Bottom line: if you dig sex appeal, if you appreciate cinematic production values, if you like the vicarious venture into a dramatized Playboy Club (the closest to the real thing most people will get), and like the vicarious company of the bunnies and/or the playboys themselves- this show is for you!
Isha
Isha
I'm so disappointed in this episode. This was one of the series I had been looking forward to the most for this falls line-up. I liked the premise of the show and after watching the first episode I still like where the story is heading, but everything else was pretty bad.

My major difficulties with this episode was that the cast was awful. If the acting wasn't bad it was the wrong actor for the wrong part. Mainly the mob boss and the manager of the playboy club were characters that didn't fit with the actors. My other concern was the dialog. Wow, the dialog is really terrible, everything sounded unreal and corny. I can't say I've experienced that feeling watching a prime time TV-series before, the dialog is often better in some shows and less good in others, but this was just bad. I was wondering if I was watching a high school drama or something.

The pros, like I said before, I liked the story, and the two lead characters aren't that bad actually, even if the lead character, Nick Dalton, is a replica of Don Draper that it's scary, but that is it for the pros really.

I really want to continue watching this show because the plot is pretty intriguing, but I don't think I should. The show just feels like something mainly made for NBC because it wanted it's own Mad Men replica. I hate quitting on a show too early so I'm going to catch next week's episode, but I don't think I'm going to like it.
Ceroelyu
Ceroelyu
Now I'm a huge fan of the 50's 60's era and I'm not here to compare this show to Mad Men (even if i love it). This show fails to give the illusion of the 60's, which at first glance of the previews was one of the biggest pulls the show had. On top of that, the acting and plot line are dull and slightly predictable, clichés around every corner, and, a huge pet peeve of mine is the background music. Lack of class, lack of seduction, and unrealistic. I haven't quite managed to fall in love with any characters yet, but that doesn't mean i wont. I will continue to watch this show for the first season, hoping and hoping that they can think this whole thing through.
Boyn
Boyn
I'm about to be cynical and dismissive, but since the producers of this show have been lurking in those same waters then I feel no compunctions about returning the favor.

The main character is a total Don Draper analog, and many of the social issues woven into the fabric of the ongoing serial plot are identical to the social issues exploited on "Mad Men": women's lib, race integration, closeting of homosexuals, commoditization of sex, and on and on. And that was just on the first episode!

Yes, this is all, daring, cutting edge stuff for a network drama...or at least it would have been if this show came out before "Mad Men." Let's leave out the cynically gross amount of product placement inherent by Playboy Enterprises, up to and including the very title of the show itself. (Gee, I hope "Pan Am", another show picking through the "Mad Men" gold mine this season, is a little better.)

I have to place most of the blame on the producers and the network for greelighting this. The actors are just trying to do a job, same with the writers. This thing is just flawed from the ground up. I appreciate the try, but it just comes across as a pale shadow of a successful TV drama. Hey, I know that's how the entertainment industry works: success breeds copycatism. That doesn't mean I have to like it.
Memuro
Memuro
I've high hope for this as I liked what I saw in the trailer before watching the pilot episode. The playboy club has chance to be a worth watching series, but matching mob and hot girls is just a turn off (for me) and not really interesting. I thought the series will focus more about the bunnies, their clients, the mansion and of course, Hefner, but instead we got a boring piece of crap about bunny killing a mafia boss. I gave it five out of ten, because I like the lead actors both Amber Heard and Eddy Cibrian did good and there are definite chemistry too. I will give it more episodes to go, and hope by then the whole mob-danger storyline has vanish and focus more on the Playboy Club.
Skiletus
Skiletus
My expectations for "The Playboy Club" have been low, due to its overt attempt to clone the far superior "Mad Men". In spite of that, the show has kept me interested enough to watch both of the shows that have aired, and I will continue to watch for a few more episodes to see if it ever hooks me. Part of the brilliance of "Mad Men" is that it dives headlong into cliché and usually surprises the viewer with an unexpected angle on that cliché. In "The Playboy Club", the makers follow firmly in the footsteps of "Mad Men", but forget to include the surprises. It is awash in cliché, saved only by the high quality of the art direction and acting. Even the musical performances fall short. The songs may be top-notch and sung well, but the direction cripples them with a "Glee"-like artificiality and a lack of imagination. In episode two, for example, the arrangement of "In the Mood" -- a song from the thirties -- is a virtual duplicate of Bette Midler's version from 1973. How is that choice appropriate for a show set in the sixties, particularly when the production designers are so careful about visual authenticity? Why not duplicate an arrangement from the sixties, or maybe even create something new?
Nayatol
Nayatol
I thought from the previews that this show had some potential. What a turkey! The writing was so bad that it seemed like a first draft of a high school project. The acting was even worse. A total waste of time. Every character was plastic and most slept thru their lines and parts, except Eddie C who could have phoned his in. Having had some experience in the real world of the Playboy clubs , this wasn't even authentic. No bunny flirted with customers, you were simply a pretty waitress and the bunny mother made sure there was no fooling around and rules were strictly adhered to. This show is a joke! Early cancellation would be a mercy killing.
Shou
Shou
Don't waste your time with this one. Hopefully they cancel it soon. Moves to slow, no action. Maybe chicks will love it but not for guys.

I was expecting a lot more action, but it didn't happen. Their are much better shows on at this time than this one.

It is not one I will say why did they cancel and can they bring it back.

Acting is OK, but the script sucks big time. Needs more action than it has, lame show if you ask me.

hopefully they replace it with something better than this and soon.

I don't know what more I can say about this crappy show. I hope it goes off the air soon and something else replaces it.
Darkshaper
Darkshaper
High expectations with little delivered. This series wants to re-write history and have us all believe that things actually might have happened the way it has been portrayed. I was too young to have gone to an actual Playboy, but I'm old enough to remember them and the mystique involved with being a member. This series would have you believe that patrons could not only dance and mingle with bunnies, but that it was simple for a patron to gain access to "employee only" areas without being thrown out. The whole concept of the Playboy club was a "Look, but don't Touch" mentality that the management took quite seriously. Bunnies were not only forbidden to date key-holders, but a perceived violation of the fraternization policies could get one fired quickly.

I don't think I'm giving anything away when I mention that there is a high profile murder in the pilot. The details surrounding this are ludicrous and contrived. To suggest that a Mob boss would put himself in a position to be possibly exposed to arrest and jail time for a sexual assault in a popular and crowded nightclub is insane. It's sloppy writing and it's lazy.

The retro musical numbers were good, and if they are representative of what we can come to expect, there might be hope for this show. Overall however, I'm just being asked to suspend a little too much disbelief to be able to give this show a thumbs up.