Eddie Cibrian Lands Lead Role in NBC's Playboy Pilot

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Eddie Cibrian is the ultimate playboy. At least he will be in a new NBC drama by that name, set in 1960s Chicago, replacing Hellcats' Jeff Hephner in the leading role.

Hephner landed the role last week after a marathon of auditions, but was replaced in a surprise move by Cibrian. The decision was made after the pilot’s table read.

Sources close to the show tell TV Line that Hephner, who had never played a lead on a series, was great in the tests but ultimately the part just wasn’t a good fit.

Eddie C

Eddie Cibrian is expected start immediately as Playboy - set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963 - is slated to begin filming in the Windy City early next week.

It centers on Nick Dalton (Cibrian), described as “the ultimate playboy.” He is an attorney in Chicago and a Keyholder at the glamorous, exclusive Playboy Club.

He's also a "fixer" with mob ties. Laura Benanti, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Leah Renee, David Krumholtz and Wes Ramsey co-star.

Cibrian was formerly on CSI: Miami, but is perhaps just as well known these days in celebrity gossip circles for his affair with LeAnn Rimes (now his fiancee).

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.