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"Swingtown": That '70s Sex Show

Remember the 1970s? The politics, the clothes - a time when everything seemed "far out."

A time when some Americans were having sex with their neighbors.

The new CBS series, "Swingtown," explores the sexual revolution that hit suburbia in that era.

"We always say the swinging in 'Swingtown' is not just about swinging, it's about the swinging pendulum - the place we were in terms of shifting social mores in the mid-'70s," the show's producer Alan Poul told CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker.

"Swingtown" delves into the relationships of three couples living in the Chicago suburbs in 1976.

Grant Show and Lana Parilla play the Deckers, the swingers with the cool house and hip clothes.

"Traditional marriage would not have worked for these two people and they love each other deeply, deeply, deeply and they're looking for something that will work for them," Show said.

Then there are the Millers, played by Jack Davenport and Molly Parker, who are high school sweethearts who had children early. They move across the street from the Deckers. Surprised, then intrigued and enticed, they open their eyes and their door to the taboo-shattering sexual behavior of their new environment.

"So come 1976, where we're only in our mid-30s and we've moved into this new neighborhood and as Molly said, you know certain opportunities present themselves and to a greater or lesser extent, they're relatively open to suggestion," said Davenport.

"It's sort of the first time that these people have this opportunity to think about really who they are and what they might want out of their lives," added Parker.

Finally, the Thompsons, played by Josh Hopkins and Miriam Shor. Their friends left them behind and so did the sexual revolution.

Shor said her character and her husband have gotten swept up in the swirl of the 1970s.

"Absolutely, because our friend is, and that causes us to question kind of everything about ourselves and our relationship too, but in a hilarious way," she said.

For those in the audience who've burned any photographic evidence of themselves wearing platform shoes and polyester jumpsuits, "Swingtown" may bring back a few nightmarish memories.

After all, if you grew up in the 70's, you'll never live down those outfits.

"Swingtown" is loosely based on creator Mike Kelley's observations growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the '70s. A lot of the knick-knacks from the era around the set belonged to Poul's mother, including various plastic ashtrays in white or orange, and a Lucite wine caddy.

"That was considered very fashionable in my day. My mom would use it to impress company," Poul said.

"I do think there's an innocence to it, an innocence and an optimism ... when we all know, as viewers know, that the '80s are coming and that there's a lot that's about to happen to America, but the characters don't know that yet, you know," said Short.

"So, in that way, I think there's a whole lot of people who will enjoy traveling back and remembering their lives through this show," said Hopkins.

"Swingtown" premieres Thursday on CBS at 10 p.m ET/PT.

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