Pilot Scoop: Eddie Cibrian Scores Playboy Lead

The lead in the NBC drama pilot Playboy has been recast: CSI: Miami alum Eddie Cibrian is in and Jeff Hephner, who landed the part last week after a marathon of auditions, is out. 

The decision was made after the pilot’s table read. Sources close to the show say that Hephner, who had never played a lead on a series before, was great in the tests but ultimately the part just wasn’t a good fit.

Cibrian is expected start immediately as Playboy is slated to begin filming in Chicago on Tuesday.

The potential series is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. It centers on Nick Dalton (Cibrian), described as “the ultimate playboy.” He is an attorney in Chicago and a Keyholder at the glamorous, exclusive Playboy Club. A fixer who knows how to make problems disappear, he has mysterious ties to the mob. The pilot, directed by Alan Taylor, co-stars Laura Benanti, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Leah Renee, David Krumholtz and Wes Ramsey.