NBC station refuses to air 'The Playboy Club'
Salt Lake City wants to put a black wrapper on NBC’s new drama series The Playboy Club.
The NBC affiliate in Utah announced on its Web site that it won’t air the new drama series this fall. The decision “is based on the station’s long-term policy to screen programming for material which significant portions of our audience may find objectionable.”
The station’s president and CEO Mark Willes said Playboy is not a match for the station’s brand. “The Playboy brand is known internationally. Everyone is clear what it stands for,” he said in a statement. “We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.”
NBC insiders point out that the station is in a unique situation since its parent company Bonneville International is owned by the Church of The Latter-day Saints. The station’s executive said he’ll work with NBC to find ways for the show to be seen in Salt Lake City “on another channel.”
“Our intent is not to tell people what they can and cannot watch, but rather to share programming with our audience in accordance with our mission,” added KSL programming director Michelle Torsak.
The Playboy Club, which will air Mondays at 10 p.m. this fall, is a Mad Men-style drama set in the 1960s at a Playboy-branded Chicago nightclub. One station refusing to run the show is a problematic sign, as it could prompt others to bow out too.
NBC last faced an affiliate revolt in 2009 when a Boston station declared that it would not air The Jay Leno Show at 10 p.m., and the network quickly persuaded the channel’s owner to reverse his stance. NBC has not yet commented on the Utah station’s decision.