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NBC Affiliate Says No to ‘Playboy Club’

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An NBC station announced that it will not air The Playboy Club, a new drama series set in the 1960s that will launch this fall on the Peacock network.

The president and CEO of Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV said in a statement that there is a conflict between the Playboy brand and that of the station:

“The Playboy brand is known internationally. Everyone is clear what it stands for. We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.”

Here’s one of those cases in which many people might immediately cheer the station’s decision.

Entertainment Weekly points out that this particular station is in an unusual predicament, since its parent company, Bonneville International, happens to be owned by the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

What I find most curious is this parenthetical fact: “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.'”

What? Wait a second: if the station feels that it isn’t right for the community, why would it work with NBC to find ways for it to be seen at all? It’s either inappropriate or it isn’t.

If they really believe it has no place on their channel, why would they assist the network in getting it on the air at all? NBC is a pretty big company; I’m sure it can find a way to take care of itself in Salt Lake City. If that station is willing to take steps to get the program on the air, it has no excuse for taking steps to keep it off the air.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

3 Comments

  • And once again, the freedom of speech (or, in this case, viewing) is under fire in a strange sort of way. If this is airing on NBC, it’s not like they can show that much. Adult language, well, that is possibly a concern, but have you seen “Grey’s Anatomy”? How about any police show? “CSI”? You should hear the language on THOSE shows. Those are shows I watch and I am floored by words that 30 years ago, when I was 13, would never get past Doc and Johhny and Ed… no way, no how. How bad can this be?

    George Carlin always said that he’d rather his kids see two people in a movie making love than killing one another. I agree wholeheartedly with this – the violence is teaching far worse things than sexual content. But this is television. You get what you get. If you don’t want to see the Playboy show, change the channel.

  • @TedtheThird If it were only the viewership argument, I could see that.

    But they make a statement that says Playboy’s brand doesn’t mesh with their own. If they believe that, then fine. But if they believe that this kind of program isn’t worthy of broadcasting, then they should reject it and step away.

    Otherwise, it’s like a church that happens to own a borrowing library, for example, rejecting a book that it feels sends a wrong message and has no place in its building, but then actively campaigning for other libraries to carry it instead.

    Once you make the stand, on moral ground, about content, taking ANY action that still gets that content out to the public, it seems to me, only diminishes your footing.

  • Theory: The station is attempting to appeal to multiple people groups. Their stand to not air the show gains them points with the demographics that would not want the show on the air, and would likely have not watched it anyway. It shows the station as principled. At the same time, working to get the show seen in some way shows the station is trying to be inclusive. It’s a way of standing up for their beliefs while trying not to shove them down a dissenters throat.

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