Hugh Hefner is getting a miniseries treatment. The Playboy founder’s life and his company are the subject of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, a miniseries produced by Stephen David Entertainment and Playboy’s Alta Loma Entertainment. The project, which is currently being shopped to networks, is slated to begin production in 2016. Stephen David will executive produce the project with Alta Loma executives Peter Jaysen and Dick Rosenzweig.
American Playboy will has full access to Hefner’s video and photographic archives, which chronicle the daily life of the mercurial Editor In Chief from 1953 to today. In addition, the production will be able to use the Playboy library, which includes more than 60 years of issues of the magazine as well as previously unpublished material.
American Playboy will be in SDE’s signature “hybrid” docudrama style. It will span over six decades of American history, telling the dual narrative of Hefner’s personal life, intertwined with the evolution of the country he sought to change. What started in December 1953 with a nude centerfold of Marilyn Monroe, transformed into Hefner’s personal vision of what America could be – Playboy became a high-minded, egalitarian magazine, placing Hefner on the frontlines of the country’s greatest struggles. From publishing blacklisted writers to freeing prisoners of repressive sexual legislation, to battling with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and Jerry Falwell, Hefner used his media empire and public persona to espouse a progressive philosophy far ahead of his time.
“When I started Playboy magazine in 1953, I couldn’t imagine the incredible journey that was to follow and that Playboy would have such a significant voice in the discussion of our ever-changing culture,” said Playboy Founder, Hugh Hefner. “I’m pleased that this docu-series will help serve as a reminder of where we’ve been and how we’ve evolved as a society, but more importantly my hope is that it will inspire others to pursue their dreams.”
Other hybrid-genre programs from Banijay Group company SDE that use a combination of traditional documentary techniques integrated with scripted storytelling elements include The Men Who Built America, The World Wars, The Making of the Mob and the upcoming The West.
“Hugh Hefner is a fascinating, enigmatic personality and I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Alta Loma and Banijay to bring his story to life,” said Stephen David. “As a brand, Playboy has unparalleled international recognition, and we look forward to reaching audiences around the world.”
Alta Loma Entertainment is currently in production of the television series You Me Her starring Greg Poehler, Rachel Blanchard, and Priscilla Faia for DirecTV and eOne Television which is slated to premiere on March 8.