Sep. 19, 2011 at 9:28 AM ET
When "The Playboy Club" premieres on NBC Monday night, it might remind viewers of something they've seen before.
Namely, "Mad Men," which airs on AMC and won its fourth consecutive Outstanding Drama Series Emmy Sunday night.
But star Eddie Cibrian, who plays Nick Dalton on the show, told TODAY's Matt Lauer that the "Mad Men"-meets-"The Godfather" comparisons are just surface reactions.
"What else are you going to compare it to really? That's the only other show on TV that's based in this (1960s) era right now on television," he said. "But they're very unique shows. 'Mad Men' is subtle and nuanced show, and we're doing a big network show that's going to be a lot more glitz and glamour and sexiness and visually appealing."
Cibrian's Dalton is a lawyer with a shady background, who doesn't always do what's good for him; Cibrian (who married his second wife, singer LeAnn Rimes, in April) grinned that since Dalton "gets involved with the bunnies (at the Club) ... that complicates his life, period. But he has a mysterious past, he was involved a little bit with the mob."
The use of the name Playboy has complicated the show's birthing process; before even one episode has aired, the Parents Television Council had already issued a statement calling for it to be taken off the air. The statement said that it was "the latest and most obvious example of the way the entertainment industry is mainstreaming and even glamorizing pornography."
Cibrian told Lauer that the show had nothing to do with Playboy the magazine, just the Playboy clubs. "They never seen our show," he said. "Our show is not about the proliferation of Playboy empire. It's completely based around a Playboy Club.... I don't know why there is this kind of controversy at all."
But as Lauer noted, a little controversy never hurt Playboy before.
You can watch "The Playboy Club" hop down the bunny trail on NBC tonight at 10pm ET/9pm CT.
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