March 12, 2011 04:57:20 GMT
Hephner who is relatively new in the TV industry reportedly did not do well in the reading although the producers loved him as an actor.
NBC has a slight change of mind about the casting of the lead male on "Playboy". Jeff Hephner was announced to fill the position of Nick Dalton, an attorney who is a "keyholder" at the club, because he did well on the screen tests. However, the actor who has never taken a major role before, could not deliver in the pilot's table read and had to be recast.
The network bosses landed the choice on Eddie Cibrian who was one of many actors testing for the part after Broadway star Patrick Wilson passed. Cibrian, who is infamous for having an affair with "Northern Lights" co-star LeAnn Rimes while he was married, is expected to start immediately as the pilot is slated to begin filming in Chicago on Tuesday, March 15.
"Playboy" centers on Nick who is described as "the ultimate playboy" and on a group of women working as Playboy bunnies in New York club in 1963. Cibrian will star opposite Laura Benanti, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton and David Krumholtz. The pilot will be directed by Alan Taylor, who also directed the pilot of "Mad Men".