LOS ANGELES — NBC pulled the plug on "The Playboy Club" on Tuesday after just three episodes in the face of poor ratings and an outcry from parents who thought the 1960s-themed drama was too hot for prime time.

"That is true," an NBC spokesman told AFP when asked to confirm that the show -- starring Amber Heard as a newly-hired but naive Playboy bunny in Chicago -- would be replaced with crime-show repeats and a newsmagazine.

"The Playboy Club" was one of two, heavily-promoted new shows on US network television this season -- the other being ABC's "Pan Am" -- that mimicked the success of AMC's "Mad Men" and its obsessive attention to 1960s style.

But "The Playboy Club" got off to a rough start, with poor reviews from the critics, only 3.4 million viewers on its Monday night time slot, and seven sponsors bailing out after the first episode on September 19.

It also found itself in the crosshairs of the Parents Television Council, a grassroots family-values organization that had campaigned via the Internet for its cancellation.

"We're pleased that NBC will no longer be airing a program so inherently linked to a pornographic brand that denigrates and sexualizes women," the group's president Tim Winter said in a statement.