Amazon has greenlit a 13-episode docu-series about the life and times of Hugh Hefner — but don’t expect an investigative, journalistic account like Ezra Edelman’s recent O.J. Simpson doc O.J.: Made in America. Hef is heavily involved in American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which draws on 17,000 hours of unseen footage from the Playboy archives as well as the publishing mogul’s scrapbooks — of which he has over 2,600, a Guinness World Record.
American Playboy — which will premiere in 2017 — arrives on the heels of the famed nudie mag’s recent decision to stop publishing nude photos, citing competition from other publications and the ubiquity of free online porn. The Amazon original series will thus document a now-bygone era, beginning with the magazine’s launch in 1953 and following the 90-year-old Hefner’s career up to the present.
“I’m pleased that this docu-series will shed light on what has been an incredible journey and the voice Playboy has had in the discussion of our ever-changing culture,” Hefner is quoted in a press release. “Just as importantly, my hope is that it will inspire others to pursue their dreams.” Sure, but will it be half as entertaining as The Girls Next Door?