A new Amazon Original Series has been greenlit, utilizing over 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner’s personal archives. The series will chronicle the life of Hugh Hefner, and the history of the Playboy brand that he created.
The series will be called American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, and it will be a docuseries that combines archival footage, interviews and cinematic reenactments to tell the story of Playboy magazine’s founder. The series is set for a 13-episode season that will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan in 2017. The series will also be available via the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online at Amazon.com/originals.
Produced by Stephen David Entertainment and Alta Loma Entertainment, American Playboy begins in post-war America and takes us through the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953 and the next six decades of Hefner’s life and career. The studio stated, “As he built his empire, Hefner became both a social justice advocate and a target of the conservative movement, battling with the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover while becoming an outspoken defender of civil rights.”
With unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of never-before-seen footage from the Playboy archives and Hefner’s personal scrapbooks (which number more than 2,600 and constitute a Guinness World Record), American Playboy will be the Hugh Hefner story in his own words. The 90-year-old Hefner has been deeply involved in the development and production of American Playboy, imbuing the series with rich first-person accounts and never-before-told stories.
“Although Hugh Hefner is an iconic figure known worldwide, most people may not be aware of the impact he has had on some of this country’s most important social revolutions,” said Conrad Riggs, Head of Unscripted, Amazon Studios. “We are excited to bring Prime members the untold story of Mr. Hefner’s remarkable life and his contributions to modern American history.”
“It has been a long road in finding the right partners to tell the full story of Playboy as it has unfolded over these past 63 years, and I believe we have found them in the collaborative team of Stephen David Entertainment and Amazon,” said Hugh Hefner. “I’m pleased that this docuseries will shed light on what has been an incredible journey and the voice Playboy has had in the discussion of our ever-changing culture. Just as importantly, my hope is that it will inspire others to pursue their dreams.”
“To say that Hugh Hefner has lived a ‘full life’ is an incredible understatement,” said Stephen David, Executive Producer and president of Stephen David Entertainment. “Hefner created more than a magazine—Playboy became a thrilling lifestyle, one that Hef has embodied for the better half of a century. Bringing Hef’s world to life has been an adventure for SDE, and we cannot wait to share it with Prime members.”
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Stephen David Entertainment and Alta Loma Entertainment and executive produced by Stephen David (The Men Who Built America, The World Wars, The Making of the Mob, The American West), Peter Jaysen (You Me Her) and Dick Rosenzweig (The House Bunny, The Playboy Club) with co-executive producers Shirley Escott (Shadow of Doubt, The Making of the Mob: New York) and Tim Kelly (NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed, American Genius).