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.

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  1. Justin says:

    Jeff Hephner was a fantastic lead on the CW show Easy Money, which was a great show as well.

  2. Jason says:

    Well that totally sucks.

    I’m in Heph’s corner all the way.

  3. Chmarin says:

    Ugh, he’s so annoying. And overrated. Guess this is one less pilot to be excited about. Thank God there’s a bunch of other great stuff this pilot season, fall 2011 should be great!

  4. Kris says:

    Sad news but at least he can stay on Hellcats now. I love him as Red.

  5. M says:

    That’s so sad for Jeff. He was so excited about playing that part. If Hellcats gets a season 2, they should at least promote him to a series regular then. I really like Red and Red/Vanessa seem to be a big part of the show.

  6. Jorge Jose Herrera says:

    Cibrian seems like a much better fit for the role than Hephner did to me. Although I feel bad for Hephner getting such a large role in a much buzzed pilot for next season and losing that position a week later.

  7. Laurel says:

    Wise decision
    Although Hephner is great on Hellcats I just couldn’t see him as the lead “Hugh Hefner” type on Playboy.

    Now Cibrian is perfect for the part. A much better fit.

  8. ZR says:

    So not watching now.

  9. Just in Time for Wedding to LeAnn says:

    I guess now that Cibrian has scored a pilot he will actually be able to help pay for his blowout wedding to LeAnn and also send some child support to Brandi. Good luck to this show… I won’t be watching.

  10. DryedMangoez says:

    This would’ve been a great role for Jeff Hephner to break out with.

    All tabloid drama aside, Eddie Cibrian is just not a strong enough actor to lead a series and actually removes a lot of the intrigue from the show. Having a fresh face like Hephner made the series more interesting. Having Cibrian kind of pushes the series into a more soapy area that will turn off a lot of people.

  11. Summer says:

    Jeff Hephner was such a better choice for this role!

  12. Riley says:

    Cibrian is a joke of an actor. He’ll ruin the show for the rest of the cast.

  13. castiella says:

    Any truth to the rumor that Sean Maher is in this?

  14. kat says:

    Seems like a great fit. From what I’ve heard and read the lead is ‘morally ambiguous,’ basically a real shallow scumbag. Perfect for Cibrian.

  15. Margaret says:

    Sean Maher was cast – probably recurring – Deadline reported it.

  16. amy says:

    This project is going to tank. Mark my words.

  17. Delores Roberts says:

    I loved watching Eddie cibrian play the role of Jesse cardoza in csi miami he was so sexy and very handsome I hated it when he got killed off he is a very good actor and would be good in anything he did I think God bless you Eddie I think your great

    • Sassy 1 says:

      Delores Roberts, may you are right………………..not. He was too hot and the people voted him “off” in favor of the wonderful Eric back on the show.(CSI-Mamai) Eric has every woman’s heart because he is genuine. Let’s hope Eddie saves what money he earns before this tanks and gives to his ex-wife Brandi for his kids he left behind
      for her to take care of and train in the right way to go in life. Heaven knows someone knows right.

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