2014 Recap: 'Topless Prophet' Is The Latest Detroit TV Series

December 26, 2014, 9:23 AM by  Allan Lengel

Update: There's no indication the show will be renewed for a second season. 

This Oct. 9 article is the fifth repost of notable 2014 content, based on readership and editors’ choices. The Top 10 series runs through Dec. 31. See links to previous installments at the end.

In the past several years, TV shows filmed in Detroit have had mixed results.


There were the two cop shows: AMC's "Low Winter Sun" and ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7,", which lasted only a season each. Then there's trueTV's "Hard Core Pawn," a reality show on a Detroit pawnshop run by a father and his daughter and son. That's been going strong since 2010.

Now comes Cinemax's "Topless Prophet," a reality show about topless bar king Alan Markovitz and his colorful, tough industry. Markovitz has had a rich history in the industry, including being shot twice while on the job.

The show, which has its share of nudity, debuted May 30. For the first season, Cinemax plans 10 half-hour episodes.

The series features Markovitz, his three Metro Detroit topless clubs  --  the Penthouse and Coliseum clubs in Detroit and the Flight Club, in Inkster -- his managers,  agents who recruit dancers and the dancers themselves -- on stage, backstage and outside the clubs.

Other TV shows filmed in Detroit have run on network or cable TV. "Topless Prophet" is on a premium station with a more limited audience at a very late time slot: Midnight. The rerun on Sunday for the second episode came on at 2:15 a.m.

The show was launched with little fanfare. It's being advertised on Cinemax, but there hasn't been much hype  outside of that. In fact, it's hard to find a review online on the show since it launched.

Still, the network says it has high hopes for the show.

So does Markovitz. 

"I really think the show is professionally done," Markovitz tells Deadline Detroit. "Everybody I talked to has been absolutely positive. They want to see more of my life and less of the girls.”

In the first episode, Markovitz has a party at this Orchard Lake home and unveils his infamous 12-foot high sculpture of a middle finger that was put in his backyard in November as a gesture to his neighbor who was living with his ex-wife. The sculpture was eventually sold on eBay for $5,000 and Markovitz donated the money to Heart 2 Hart Detroit, a non-profit that feeds and clothes the homeless.

Markovitz says he liked the first episode, but wasn't totally happy with everything.

He said the producers made it look as if two women were taking a shower during the party. Markovitz said the shower scene didn't actually happen during the party, but was made to look as if it had.

He thought it was a little too gratuitious.

"There's a shower scene in the last five minutes of the show. I don't think it was necessary. I wasn't happy with it. If I have a party the girls are not naked in my shower."

Kenny Corey

The second episode, which aired last Friday, focuses on Kenny Corey, who recruits dancers for Markovitz. Corey, who dresses like a pimp, sometimes in a white suit, recruits two dancers in the episode and he works to build up their confidence. Some of the other dancers seem a bit threatened by the new talent.

The third episode will feature Markovitz on a blind date.

The show isn't likely to win any Golden Globe or Emmy awards, but is sure to have some following.

Watch Promo

Top 10 Countdown so far

10. ’Ballsy’_Cadillac_Ad_During_Oscars_Stirs_Debate_About_its_Politics, March 2

9. Dan Gilbert’s Graffiti_’Degenerates’ Identified_as_Grosse_Pointe_Teens, July 1

8. A Detroit Dance_Called_’the_Jit’_Is_Subject_of_New_Documentary, Jan. 3

7. Detroiters_Reach_Back_to_Say_on_Social_Media: ‘I’m_So_Detroit I . . .’, July 17

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