Mere hours after NBC announced that it had canceled its new series "The Playboy Club," media watchdog group the Parents Television Council planted its flag in the corpse and all but claimed credit for the axing.
In a news release titled, "PTC Pleased NBC Will No Longer Promote Playboy During Prime Time," the organization crowed, "Leading up to and during the shows run, PTC carried out an aggressive campaign that included calling on its members and other concerned citizens to contact local NBC affiliates, and asking advertisers whether the Playboy brand aligns with their corporate image."
Added PTC president Tim Winter, "We're pleased that NBC will no longer be airing a program so inherently linked to a pornographic brand that denigrates and sexualizes women," and said he hoped other networks would "heed the important lessons of this programming debacle."
Last week, the organization — which has launched countless attacks against programs it deems too racy, including MTV's "Skins" — noted that a number of advertisers pulled out of the show after its second airing, and vowed to keep pressure on remaining advertisers.
It was unclear, however, whether the advertisers abandoned the show over its content or its poor ratings. Premiering on Sept. 19 to disappointing numbers, the series dropped off an additional 19 percent in its second airing, and slipped an additional 8 percent with Monday's final episode to a meager 1.2 rating/3 share in the adults 18-49 demographic.
The series has been troubled almost since its inception. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem — who once went undercover at a Playboy club to write an expose of it — called for a boycott. And KSL-TV, Salt Lake City's NBC affiliate, refused to air the show — though it was later picked up by another station.