Following in the footsteps of the short-lived drama American Dreams (2002 - 2005) and looking to replicate the screen-to-iPod sales savvy of Glee, Universal Music's Verve Music Group has partnered with 20th Century Fox Television and iTunes to offer music from new 1960s-centric NBC series The Playboy Club.
Songs from each episode will be performed by known artists in addition to the show's cast (the key club's "Bunny" hostesses, for example). Among the artists signed up to play their idols: Colbie Caillait, who'll take on Leslie Gore's "It's My Party," The Voice winner Javier Colon (Ray Charles), and Raphael Saadiq (Sam Cooke). Additional tributes are planned for Roy Orbison and Frank Sinatra, among other legendary performers.
Individual tracks are being produced by Mike Fratantuno, Terrance Graves and Brian Lapin, collectively known as The Transcenders, and cast vocals are being recorded in Chicago by Richard Marx.
"From the very beginning, it was always part of the creators' vision to incorporate musical performances into the storytelling of The Playboy Club and make the songs from the show available for download," said 20th TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden in a statement. "As we've seen with Glee, music downloads can be a powerful connection for fans to deepen their enjoyment of the series beyond its weekly telecast, and a great opportunity for us to expose the series to an even larger audience." According to 20th TV senior vp of music Geoff Bywater, a soundtrack album is also a possibility.
Two performances from the premiere episode are already up on iTunes, the Sinatra classic "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)," performed by Laura Benanti as 'Bunny' Carol-Lynne, and the soul standard "Shake A Tail Feather," originally made famous by Ike & Tina Turner, performed by the Playboy Club special guest Karen LeBlanc.
The Playboy Club premiered on Monday night with 5 million viewers tuning in.
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