Playboy TV will make its contribution to the reality TV trend with the debut of 7 Lives Xposed, a weekly series that promises to take television voyeurism to a new level.
The part-scripted, part-reality series — which debuts Oct 21 — places a group of seven adults in a loft infiltrated by 40 cyber cameras. Participants are encouraged to engage in numerous sexual escapades, said Playboy Networks Worldwide president Jim English.
Though various scenarios have been penned for the 13-week, one-hour skein, most of the action, dialogue and interaction between the participants is unscripted, according to English. The on-air series will be accompanied by a "provocative" online component at 7livesxposed.com. Internet users can download cast biographies, photographs and possible interviews with the characters themselves.
Additional footage from the show can also be accessed through Playboy's fee-based Cyber Club area within the playboy.com Web site, said the network.
While Playboy's Playmate programming is reality-based by nature, Playboy Entertainment Group executive vice president of production Sol Weisel said 7 Lives Xposed
is the network's most unique original project to date.
"We took the most interesting elements of reality television and combined them with scripted drama and a very sexy young cast," Weisel said. "This combination has created a unique and very sensual series that will provoke heated audience reactions week after week."Added English: "For us, this is just a different form of reality programming that we've been doing for years."
is part of the network's ongoing attempt to move from a pay-per-view service to a pay TV option for both cable and direct broadcast satellite subscribers. English said operators have been "slow" to convert Playboy to a premium service, but the network is talking to all operators. He would not disclose specific premium-subscriber figures.
Playboy has also ditched the Spice Platinum moniker for its ultra-explicit PPV networks and has instead reconfigured its Hot Network and Hot Zone services. Playboy acquired the two services, along with Vivid TV, as part of a $70 million purchase of adult-film production company Califa Entertainment Group's television assets.
Spice Hot (formerly the Hot Network) and the more adult movie-based Spice Hot Zone (formerly Hot Zone) will offer the least-edited adult programming currently available on cable.
English said the network would launch a third ultra-explicit service — a live-adult service — sometime during 2002.
The network also continues to market its instant-access, video-on-demand service, which will offer nearly 1,000 titles of licensed films and Playboy original programs.
The programming would be offered in three forms: the traditional cable-adult standard, a more liberally edited version and in unedited form, English said. The service can be integrated with an operator's other VOD offerings.