Salt Lake City NBC station refuses to air “The Playboy Club”

Pin it

NBC's upcoming series The Playboy Club — which is set in '60s Chicago and is pretty obviously an attempt to capture some of that Mad Men magic a few years too late — won't be seen by everyone across this fair land. (And not just because of disinterest.) KSL, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, has decided not to air the program because of "objectionable content." This despite the fact that, since the show airs on a broadcast station, there won't really be anything on screen you couldn't show during an episode of Chuck. But KSL wants you to know this isn't about deciding what the viewers should and should not see:

The station’s president and CEO Mark Willes said Playboy is not a match for the station’s brand. “The Playboy brand is known internationally. Everyone is clear what it stands for,” he said in a statement. “We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.”

…“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,” added KSL programming director Michelle Torsak.

Um, sure. Although frankly, what Playboy the brand stands for right now is an unfortunate line of sweatpants and exercise tees. But that's beside the point. Affiliate stations certainly have some autonomy — I've had enough shows interrupted for baseball games to know that — but this is clearly a move by, or one made to appease, the Mormon Church, even though less than half of the city's population belongs to the faith. I guess people there will have to settle for unobjectionable new shows like Prime Suspect, which follows a detective who drinks and screws her way through an unending shame spiral.