NBC's Playboy Club: The Bare Facts About Hugh Hefner's Involvement

When a show called The Playboy Club comes about, it’s a safe to assume that Hugh Hefner will be involved in some way, shape, or form. But to what extent will the boss of all things Bunny impart his wisdom on NBC’s sexy new drama (premiering Monday, Sept. 19)? The answer is: a little less than originally planned.

Series exec producer Chad Hodge weighed in on the man whose name is synonymous with Playboy at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour Monday, saying that while “you can’t tell the story of The Playboy Club without him,” the 85-year-old Hefner’s narration of the assorted goings-on will not be used beyond the pilot episode.

And while a version of Hef’s decades-younger self, glimpsed at in the pilot, “will return,” he will always be seen from behind. Even so, Hodge maintains, “His presence is there.”

And what of Hefner’s power over how The Playboy Club portrays him? Does he have a say in the way his swingin’ 1960s self is depicted?

“Hugh has the opportunity to look at any script he wants to, but he has been very hands-off in terms of the creative control of the show,” Hodge told TVLine. “He’s an entertainer, too, and he knows the project is a work of historical fiction.” Overall, says the exec, “He’s very, very happy with it.”