It appears that TV audiences want a permanent break from Hugh Hefner’s retro bunnies.
Deadline is reporting that the 1960s drama The Playboy Club has been canceled by NBC. The series, which starred Naturi Naughton as “Bunny Brenda," will be pulled from the primetime schedule immediately. For the next three weeks the network will air repeats of another new drama in The Playboy Club’s old Monday night time slot, but as of October 31 the series will be permanently replaced by the news magazine show Rock Center With Brian Williams.
The fact that the series was the first casualty of the new fall season came as little surprise to television viewers. The Playboy Club was plagued from the start of its very brief run with low ratings, knock-off comparisons to the critically acclaimed, Emmy award-winning hit AMC series Mad Men and criticism from actual real-life Playboy Club bunnies, who disputed the show’s tone, details and episode themes.
Coincidentally (or not) Naughton was hired to star in The Playboy Club, based on her standout guest starring stint as a Playboy bunny “Toni Charles” on Mad Men. But unfortunately Naughton’s starring role on The Playboy Club never utilized her as well or integrated as fully into leading storylines.
Maybe now Naughton can reprise her “Bunny Toni” role and go back to where she did it first and best — mixing with the advertising world of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
(Photo: Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images)