Playboy TV Goes Mainstream

Playboy TV is looking for a new, less racy
image for its adult-oriented programming.

In January, officials at the programmer,
which operates a premium
service, will add a
reality-series block to
that channel emphasizing
rather than sex.

To get the word
out to a general audience,
Playboy TV
will make a firstever
visit to January’s
Television Critics
Association tour
in Pasadena, Calif.,
presenting alongside such mainstream cable
networks as Discovery Channel, BET,
Starz and HBO.

Playboy TV for years has offered maletargeted,
adult-themed movies and titillating
specials, often featuring
Playboy magazine’s


The new “TV for 2”
block, though, is
aimed primarily at couples — and specifically
focused on female viewers, Gary Rosenson,
senior vice president and general manager of
domestic TV for Playboy, said.

The shows will be uncensored and
sexually-themed, Rosenson said. But they will
have high production values, be produced by
Emmy-winning producers, and won’t resemble
the typical adult content commonly found
on competing adult cable networks such as
Hustler TV or Penthouse TV.

“Our extensive research shows that both
men and women want sexy, uncensored programming
they can watch together, and TV
for 2 provides a safe and fun destination to
do just that,” Rosenson said. “We believe it
will establish a new genre of programming
on TV, one that cracks open a window into
the lives of couples to capture what relationships
look like today.”

“The ultimate benefit is to bring couples
closer together,” he said.

Here’s what’s currently planned for the

Brooklyn Kinda Love, a docu-reality series,
examines the relationships of four couples.
It premieres Jan. 15 and is produced by
Joe and Harry Gantz (HBO’s Taxicab Confessions).

Swing, an hour-long reality series that
each week will profile a monogamous couple
venturing into what are termed “alternative

• Playboy’s Sextreme Makeover, featuring
couples receiving advice from a variety
of experts on how to
become better lovers
and achieve greater

Another series will
take an uncensored
look at celebrity relationships.


Playboy TV’s shift comes as the adult premium
and video on demand category is experiencing
slow growth, competing with the
myriad of websites offering more-explicit
adult fare, often for free. Th e adult cable category
is projected to generate nearly $1.2
billion in 2010, versus $1.1 billion in 2009, according
to Kagan Associates.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.