Amazon green-lights docuseries on Playboy’s Hefner

hefnerLOS ANGELES: Online retailer Amazon said Thursday it has commissioned a docuseries on Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, chronicling his rise from modestly paid copywriter to head of a global empire.

“American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story” will draw from 17,000 hours of footage from the magazine’s archives and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner’s personal files.

“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 Amazon Studios’ unscripted output.

“We are excited to bring Prime members the untold story of Mr. Hefner’s remarkable life and his contributions to modern American history.”

The show will begin in post-war America and take viewers through the launch of Playboy in 1953 and the next six decades of the life and career of the magazine’s charismatic founder.

The 90-year-old has been a polarizing figure, campaigning for social justice and civil rights but also clashing regularly with conservative middle America.

Amazon says Hefner, who has been “deeply involved” in the development and production of “American Playboy,’ will offer plenty of never-before-told stories from his colorful life.

The series is being produced by Playboy’s in-house Alta Loma Entertainment and New York-based Stephen David Entertainment (SDE), which specializes in documentary series.

SDE was also behind the history mini-series “Sons of Liberty,” which was generally well received but also criticized for its lack of historical accuracy.

“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 Hefner in a statement.

“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.”

The 13-episode season will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Japan in 2017, and be available via the Amazon Video app.