Amazon greenlights Hugh Hefner doc series

Amazon has ordered American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, a 13-episode doc series from Stephen David Entertainment and Alta Loma Entertainment.
August 11, 2016

Amazon has ordered a doc series about Hugh Hefner from Stephen David Entertainment and Alta Loma Entertainment.

American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story will use archive, interviews and reenactments to recount the life of the Playboy magazine founder over 13 episodes. It will premiere in 2017 on the Amazon Prime SVOD service in the U.S., UK, Germany, Austria and Japan.

The series begins with the launch of Playboy in 1953 and continues over six decades as Hefner adopts social justice causes and tussles with conservatives and the FBI. Producers will have access to more than 17,000 hours of footage from the Playboy archives as well as the 90-year-old Hefner’s more than 2,600 “personal scrapbooks.”

Hefner has been “deeply involved in the development and production,” according to Amazon. “American Playboy will be the Hugh Hefner story in his own words.”

Stephen David and Alta Loma announced the project in January, but without a network attached.

“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.”

Executive producers on the series are Stephen David, Peter Jaysen, and Dick Rosenzweig. Shirley Escott and Tim Kelly are co-exec producing.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.