Christina Ricci’s 'Pan Am' Lands Home on BBC

Patrick Harbron/ABC

The Sony-produced drama due to rollout this fall on ABC has glam appeal for international audiences.

LONDON - BBC2 viewers will be taking a trip back to the glamour of 1963 aboard Pan Am, the Sony-produced ABC drama featuring Christina Ricci set around the launch of the iconic international airline and the dawn of the jet age.

Although the pubcaster has, in recent years, dramatically scaled back its acquisition budget and appetite for Hollywood fare, BBC2 Controller Janice Hadlow believes the show is has the kind of excitement and period appeal that can pull in U.K. viewers, who have loved shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, which are now owned exclusively by Sky.

Distributed by Sony Pictures Television, the BBC has joined Canal+ in Spain, IMAGICA BS in Japan, Sony Entertainment Television Latin America, TF1 in France, Australia's Nine Network and Canada's CTV by picking up the mile-high drama, which will premiere on ABC this fall on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.

With themes including luxury air travel, romance, shifting patterns of social values and international espionage, SPT International Distribution president Keith LeGoy says the drama captures the intoxication of the age.

"The dawn of luxury jet travel was a very seductive, romantic and thrilling age, so Pan Am has captured the imagination of schedulers around the world," he says, pointing out that the show will boost its global appeal to audiences and advertisers by taking the narrative to different cities around the world each week.

Lead cast include Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosley, Kelli Garner and Karine Vanasse with the drama exec-produced by Jack Orman, Thomas Schlamme and Nancy Ganis. It will be produced by Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Show Money Productions, in association with SPT, which is distributing the series globally.

Pan Am is one of four new dramas on Sony's slate that are being produced and distributed by SPT which include Charlie’s Angels, also for ABC, Unforgettable for CBS and Necessary Roughness for USA Network.

Speaking for BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said Pan Am would provide an exciting period piece for British viewers.

"Pan Am captures the excitement and optimism of travel in the 1960s, when being an air hostess was the most glamorous occupation you could possibly have," she said.

"With a love story at its heart and a great unfolding plot that hints at the danger and mystery to come, viewers will be in for an exciting but turbulent ride."