Mormon country has no use for Hugh Hefner's Bunnies.
NBC's Salt Lake CIty affiliate KSL TV is opting out of airing the Peacock's provocative new Eddie Cibrian-starring, '60s-set seriesThe Playboy Club, about life in Hef's famed Chicago nightspot.
At least LeAnn Rimes can't be blamed for this bit of bad news surrounding her man. Right?
Right. The issue has nothing to do with its star's personal life; instead, it's the show's subject matter that has been deemed a no-no in the socially conservative community.
"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," said KSL President and CEO Mark Willes in a statement. "
And just in case it's unclear what the KSL brand is, the affiliate is run by the LDS-owned Deseret Media.
A publicist for the station said the decision was based on the station's long-term policy "to screen programming for material which significant portions of our audiences may find objectionable."
Michelle Torsak, KSL's programming director, added: "Our intent is not to tell people what they can and cannot watch, but rather to share programming with our audience in accordance with our mission."
KSL says it will look for options to allow The Playboy Club, costarring Amber Heard, to be viewed in that market when it premieres on Mondays this fall in NBC's 10 p.m. time slot.The station also hosted a guest commentator discussing the issue on its Sunday evening telecast.
For its part, NBC wasn't too bothered by the rejection.
"While we are disappointed with KSL's decision, we are confident that the show will find another home in the Salt Lake City market," said network spokesman John McKay.
KSL has a long history of "not" telling people what to watch. Previously, the affiliate bailed on broadcasting the 2000 animated comedy God, the Devil and Bob and the 2003 sitcom Coupling—neither of which wound up being a ratings blockbuster, and both were quickly canceled.
Hmm, maybe those KSL folks are onto something?