A Young Creator-Showrunner Spills Some Secrets

But, dammit, he doesn’t tell us what we really want to know: How’d you get so hot? Especially when your first series was canceled after 3 episodes?

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Chad Hodge Talks ‘Playboy Club’ Lessons and His Wild Development Season
by Lesley Goldberg

Chad Hodge has come a long way from The Playboy Club.

The writer-producer behind NBC’s short-lived drama — which was canceled after three low-rated episodes in 2011 — has had an active development season, setting up three very different projects at the broadcast networks this season.

The first, Wayward Pines, is a potential limited-run series set up at Fox, with M. Night Shyamalan on board to executive produce the Twin Peaks-like event project about a secret service agent who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, Id., on a mission to find two missing federal agents.

Second, Hodge is exploring  Alice in Wonderland,setting up a modern-day procedural with McG at the CW about a young female detective in Los Angeles who discovers another world that exists under the surface of this ultra-modern city.

And finally, Hodge is working with country singerMiranda Lambert for a semi-autobiographical comedy at NBC based on her experience growing up as the daughter of two PIs juggling a family.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Hodge to discuss the lessons he learned after The Playboy Clubimpacted his approach to development season.

The Hollywood Reporter: What did you learn from The Playboy Club?

Chad Hodge: I learned a lot of production lessons on Playboy Club. It didn’t work for a variety of reasons but it did work for a variety of other reasons. I think audiences really rejected that concept outright because no one really showed up for the pilot. The Playboy brand was maybe something that wasn’t exactly right for a network show. That has nothing to do with the show itself that we created. It was maybe just something that people didn’t want to watch.

THR: Looking back would you do it again minus the Playboy brand?
Hodge: Absolutely. It wasn’t even minus the Playboy brand. I had such a great time working with Hugh Hefner. When I first heard the idea pitched to me, my first reaction was a little bit like, “Ew, really? Playboy?” As soon as I started doing the research of what this story was and who these women were and what this show could be about I got really excited about it and realized that there was you know a whole truth to this world that was so interesting and revolutionary but I didn’t know that until I did the research. I feel like audiences rejected it in the same way that I did initially. Had they been able to continue watching the show in three or four episodes in they would probably had seen what I saw. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the chance to get that far.

THR: How did you handle getting the quick hook? Did it take some time to get back on track? 

Hodge: It was sad; it was definitely a bummer. I had to close all the episodes and so I still had work to do on them for a couple of months. You try to throw yourself into other work. I didn’t let myself be mad about it for very long because in the end, I got to make a show. I have a really great job that I love and so I tried to move on pretty quickly.

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WTF? People are pitching to this guy? Why? Why? Why? If you know, please tell us…and make it juicy.