12:46pm PT by Philiana Ng
ABC Grounds 'Pan Am' -- For Now
ABC has pulled back on 1960s aviation drama Pan Am.
The network will produce only one more episode of the five additional scripts ordered, meaning the drama's first season will have a total of 14 produced episodes. ABC will air the six remaining originals beginning this Sunday, with five being broadcast in January.
Insiders say the show is still in contention for next season but will step aside to make room for midseason series GCB.
"Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas," tweeted cast member Karine Vanasse, who plays Colette, on Tuesday. "But up to the end, we'll give it our all !"
After launching to promising numbers on Sept. 25, the hourlong drama lost more than 3 million viewers for its second episode, averaging 7.8 million and posting a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49, down from the 3.1 it drew in its opener. The series didn't settle down in its third week, dropping to 6.4 million and a 1.9, down 27 percent in the demo.
Created by Jack Orman and developed by Nancy Hult Ganis, Pan Am was a big bet for ABC and Sony, which spent an estimated $10 million to produce the pilot episode. “We’re not going to spend like drunken fools, but it needs to look a certain way for ABC to be happy and advertisers to be happy and deliver great results for Sony," Sony TV president Steve Mosko said in an interview earlier this year.
The series, starring Christina Ricci, Mike Vogel and Kelli Garner, recently secured Twilight's Ashley Greene for a recurring stint, and had recently named a new showrunner, Lost producer Steven Maeda.
The Hollywood Reporter's chief television critic Tim Goodman noted that Pan Am seemed to be content with showcasing the glamorous side of being a Pan Am stewardess rather than touching on issues of the time period in a substantial manner. "It has neither the exactitude of the times nor the talent of the writers to get at the issues, ala Mad Men, that illuminate the issues of the day," he wrote. "It only has the magazine ad dreams of the times – girls don’t have to be their mothers; they can also be modern women who get weighed at work and dumped at 32 for being too old."
Pan Am revolves around the pilots and the stewardesses of the iconic Pan Am airline in 1963.
Lesley Goldberg contributed to this report.