American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1 (2017)


Season 1
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story

Critics Consensus

American Playboy lacks potency as it fails to challenge Hefner mythos and settles for watchable re-enactment.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 17

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 40

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Episodes

Air date: Apr 7, 2017

The story of how Marilyn Monroe became Playboy's first pin-up.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

Hugh Hefner persuades a subscription manager to pose in the magazine's first centerfold.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

As Hugh Hefner and Playboy enjoy national success in the mid-1950s, Hefner speaks about social issues and partakes in special perks.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

Hefner opens the Playboy Club in Chicago and creates a nightlife hostess.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

Hefner creates a platform to discuss pressing social issues, and publishes an interview with Malcolm X that creates controversy.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

Hefner becomes addicted to a drug that helps him work day and night, and publishes what would turn out to be Martin Luther King Jr.'s final written words.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

As Hefner finds love and success in Hollywood, a war breaks out between Playboy and Penthouse.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

Hefner's close friend and secretary finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy to take down the Playboy empire.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

A death compels Hefner to retreat to his Los Angeles mansion permanently, only to endure another tragedy when a playmate is murdered.

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Air date: Apr 7, 2017

As Playboy is faced with bankruptcy, Hefner sacrifices friends and turns to family to secure the brand's future.

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American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Matt Whelan
Hugh Hefner

Actor
Stephen David
Executive Producer
Dick Rosenzweig
Executive Producer

News & Interviews for American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1

Critic Reviews for American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1

Audience Reviews for American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1

  • Feb 27, 2021
    This documentary and real life enactment series is as slick and sophisticated as its legendary founder Hugh Hefner, and the playboy lifestyle he created. The production values are amazing, and the soundtrack is even more delightful. It's quite interesting to take a journey of multiple phases with Hef, starting from his unmooring from puritanical beliefs in the 50s, to his adoption of his own dreamed lifestyle inspired by his friend and promotions manager Lownes. One could fault Hef for the destruction of family values across the world, and for increased unhappiness of humankind. But one must admire his tenacity and vision to fulfill the lifelong dream of most men worldwide, debatable on its own merits. The story of Playboy is also a direct parallel to the story of America, born at a time of great rebirth, optimism and progress - the roaring 50's - when millions fulfilled the American Dream of a better life. Many great brands were born at this time, and Hef's boat rose with the tides. As we well know the bitter division of racism is alive and well in America today. Hefner broke ground with courage in the era of civil rights when he showcased talent of all races, ignoring the rage of racist Americans. His support of legends like Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin are indicative of his tremendous courage and vision. At critical historical junctures in the long story of America, playboy provided a much needed platform for the frank expression of views. One could definitely claim to have bought it for the articles. The honest and impartial coverage of civil rights issues is itself a permanent accolade. There are some good learnings from the lifestyle that would benefit most men especially today - confidence, tenacity, vision, instinct, suaveness, sophistication, refined tastes, pursuit of perfection, learning and wisdom, literature, arts, music, science, politics, etc etc etc. It was not all about the sins and pleasures of the flesh - it was also about rising above the original and becoming the best version of oneself.
  • Dec 30, 2020
    I enjoyed this. You learn a lot about Hugh Hefner. I didn't realize how progressive of a thinker he was. He put black people on the cover of his magazine at a time when that was rarely done and he knew he'd lose readers because of it. He invited people like Aretha Franklin to play at his first Playboy club. He did an interview with Malcolm X that he published. Steve Jobs said it was the single most important thing he did in media. He was extremely forward thinking and really helped push race relations. He pushed people to think in new ways by exposing them to new things. This doc goes into detail about it all. It's very interesting
  • Sep 27, 2020
    Loving this show. The era and the history, plus the storylines and steamy scenes. Quite entertaining.
  • Jul 07, 2020
    Playboy's contribution to the defense of the freedom of speech is an interesting angle...
  • Apr 12, 2020
    The first two episodes were pretty solid. Learned a lot about Hef - this series tried to take two maybe three episodes of content and stretch it over ten -
  • Apr 07, 2020
    At first I wasn't interested in this homage to narcissism but got hooked on American Playboy hoping for a period piece , like Best of Enemies (Vidal vs. Buckley). I am grateful to it for leading me to read Gloria Steinem's work A Bunny's Tale. The more you dig the more the arrogance of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story starts to unravel. In the sense that this series made me think about where we are today I am equally grateful. American Playboy is a good binge, but Hugh Hefner was not an architect of the times he was more a passenger on the bus of the 60's. Thats being kind.
  • Dec 09, 2018
    An interesting look at some of the struggles and triumphs of Playboy and Hugh Hef.
  • Jul 05, 2018
    Meh, it starts Out interesting but soon becomes creepier and creepier
  • Oct 08, 2017
    Great show..Never thought this is the real story behind hugh hefner..waiting for season 2..
  • Jul 20, 2017
    A thought provoking and informative series on one of the worlds most famous magazines. While the acting could be improved on, the documentary style saves the series and keeps it engaging and entertaining. Definitely worth the watch.

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