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Mini-series being made on the life of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner

MUMBAI: Stephen David Entertainment, a Banijay Group company, and Playboy’s Alta Loma Entertainment will co-produce a mini-series on the life of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and his legendary company, one of the world’s most recognizable brands.

‘American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story’ will begin production in 2016. Stephen David will executive produce the project with Alta Loma executives Peter Jaysen and Dick Rosenzweig.

It will benefit from access to Hefner’s video and photographic archives, which have documented the daily life of the mercurial editor in chief from 1953 to today. In addition, Playboy Enterprises will open its archives, which include more than 60 years of the pages of its magazine, as well as previously unpublished material.

Told in the ‘hybrid’ docudrama style of other SDE productions, the mini-series will span over six decades of American history, telling the dual narrative of Hefner’s personal life, intertwined with the evolution of the country he sought to change.

What started in December 1953 with a nude centerfold of Marilyn Monroe, transformed into Hefner’s personal vision of what America could be – Playboy became a high-minded, egalitarian magazine, placing Hefner on the frontlines of the country’s greatest struggles. Not merely a sexual revolutionary, Hefner fought for free speech, civil rights, nuclear disarmament, women’s rights and more. From publishing blacklisted writers to freeing prisoners of repressive sexual legislation, to battling with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and Jerry Falwell, Hefner used his media empire and public persona to espouse a progressive philosophy far ahead of his time.

“When I started Playboy magazine in 1953, I couldn’t imagine the incredible journey that was to follow and that Playboy would have such a significant voice in the discussion of our ever-changing culture. I’m pleased that this docu-series will help serve as a reminder of where we’ve been and how we’ve evolved as a society, but more importantly my hope is that it will inspire others to pursue their dreams,” said Playboy Hefner.

“Hugh Hefner is a fascinating, enigmatic personality and I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Alta Loma and Banijay to bring his story to life. As a brand, Playboy has unparalleled international recognition, and we look forward to reaching audiences around the world,” said David.

“Time and time again, Hugh Hefner went up against very powerful forces in our society to fight for those who could not speak for themselves. Now, with the help of this incredible team, the rest of the world will know just what a catalyst Hef was for positive social change in the United States and around the world,” said Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders.

Alta Loma Entertainment is currently in production of the television series ‘You Me Her’ starring Greg Poehler, Rachel Blanchard, and Priscilla Faia for Direct TV and Eone Television. This is slated to premiere on 8 March.