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'Pan Am' Star Christina Ricci Weighs In on the Show's Struggling Ratings

The film actress turned TV star brings up DVR viewing, which has been a strength for the ABC drama.

Pan Am Christina Ricci - P 2012
ABC/ERIC LIEBOWITZ

It’s no secret that ABC’s Pan Am has been on the cancelation bubble due to its low ratings. Yet, the network is following through with airing its full episode order with Pan Am’s finale currently scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 19.

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Star Christina Ricci, who plays the passionate liberal flight attendant Maggie, addressed the show’s low ratings on a press call with reporters on Monday. “I don’t really understand the ratings system and how that works or I choose not to,” she says.

“The only thing that I can really respond to is the response I get from people I see all the time,” the 31-year-old continues. “If I go shopping, the people who work in the stores love the show. When I fly, all the flight attendants love the show. I know friends and family love the show. Most of them didn’t watch it during its time slot. Most of them watched it online or TiVo’d.”

Ricci’s anecdotal evidence of the show’s viewer habits does seem to reflect the real numbers. When DVR viewing is counted, Pan Am earns an average gain of 44% among the 18-49 audience bringing its season average from 1.8 to 2.6 – the highest DVR ratings percentage gain among all of ABC’s freshman series this season. Yet at the same time, its average total viewership of 7.6 million (which includes DVR viewing) falls short of what Brothers & Sisters’ final season earned in the same Sunday time slot.

“I don’t know why the following wasn’t there,” Ricci goes on to say. “But I just feel like more and more people towards the end of the season are getting really into it and really saying that every show is better than the last. And that’s good, because you really want a show to have time for development and develop into something really amazing.”

The star says that “there’s been lots of positive talks, there has been lots of negative talks” about the series’ future. At any rate, Ricci teases bombshells for the season finale that may leave its fans high and dry if the series doesn’t continue.

“If there isn’t a Season 2, there will be questions that will never, ever, ever be answered,” she says. “But, hopefully we will get a Season 2 and no one will know that until May.”

Pan Am returns with new episodes Sunday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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