Axed: The Playboy Club

NBC's 1960s period piece drama The Playboy Club becomes the first cancellation of the new US fall TV season.

NBC’s 1960s period piece drama The Playboy Club has been axed after 3 episodes.

Due to screen in Australia on Arena, it becomes the first cancellation of the new US fall TV season.

The show started poorly with just 5 million viewers for its first episode, slipping to 3.5 million people for its third episode.

Set in a Chicago club and evoking the era and attitude made fashionable by Mad Men, the drama was hurt by strong competition from Hawaii 5-0 and Castle but also drew protests by activists who tried to encourage an advertiser boycott.

Critics dubbed it “an unwieldy and mostly humdrum combination of mob tale and backstage musical,” at worst and “a plush escape” at best.

Last month Foxtel’s Director of Television Brian Walsh told TV Tonight,The Playboy Club is NBC’s big hope for the Fall sweep. It’s set in the Chicago in the 60s and it’s about the bunny club where the girls worked. We’ve got high hopes for that and it will play here on Arena.”

Source: Boston Globe

17 Responses

  1. @ Samo. It rated a 2.6 down from a 3.1 in the 18-49 category (which is much more important than total viewers). That is OK if its ratings settle next week, but if it plunges again to a 2.1 or 2.2 it’ll start looking shaky.

  2. @mobo – with just 3 eps it’s hard to tell is Arena will pull it, might be better off just showing it in a 3 hour block to burn them off.

    @steve sydney – good point but I doubt it would have rated even those numbers on US cable.

  3. ok, part of me wants to applaud NBC for trying something a bit different, but a larger part of me wonders how the hell highly paid network execs thought something as niche as this would work on network television. …

  4. Gave this a go but it was just eh. Thought the same about Pan Am so we’ll see how that goes. Seems like the US networks just can’t pull off period pieces like the cable channels can.

  5. I was looking forward to seeing the pilot but knowing that I am not even going to waste my time seems though there is plenty other shows to watch. I wasn’t big on the idea of it being on Arena anyway seems though they don’t have a HD simulcast even though their sister channel, LifeStyle, has one and has a 1/4 of the HD content that Arena does. Hopefully this isn’t a bad sign for the rest of the 2011 Autumn season!

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