The National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has canceled its controversial new drama, The Playboy Club on Tuesday, after just three episodes. The show is reported to have received severe criticism from feminists and television critics.
A report from Hollywood Reporter said that repeat episodes of Maria Bello's Prime Suspect will be aired until Oct. 31, after which Brian Williams' newsmagazine show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, will take over.
The Playboy Club premiered on Sept. 20, in association with Hugh Hefner's Playboy Enterprises. However, it opened to an underwhelming response - only 5 million people watched the first episode and only a few million tuned in for the third.
I'm sorry NBC's The Playboy Club didn't find its audience. It should have been on cable, aimed at a more adult audience, Hugh Hefner tweeted on Tuesday night, according to another report on Hollywood Reporter.
According to a report in The Republic, the show was set in the 1960s and in a Playboy-style club. The plot focuses on the lives of the club's female employees - the Playboy Bunnies.
In response to earlier notifications of the show's launch and content, Gloria Steinem, a leading American feminist, reportedly told Reuters that she hoped audiences would boycott the new drama. Steinem also said that the Playboy clubs were the tackiest place on earth.
She wasn't the only who was less than impressed. The Parents Television Council (PTC) called it a degrading and sexualizing program, asking sponsors and advertisers to pull out of the show. The PTC's call resulted in the exit of seven advertisers in the second week of the show. The PTC has been targeting the program from the moment NBC announced it, in May.
The Playboy Club was one of 12 newly-scripted shows for the NBC under its new majority owner, Comcast Corp., in a bid to pull the network up from its ratings slump and poor performance, especially when compared to other leading U.S. broadcasters, Reuters reported.