Drama That Flopped This Season on Broadcast TV May Take Off Again Online

May 23, 2012  •  Post A Comment

We may not have seen the last of a heavily hyped network drama that crashed and burned on broadcast television this season. Deadline.com reports that ABC’s “Pan Am” could take flight again on Amazon, which is looking to try its hand at original programming.

The Christina Ricci period drama, set in the early 1960s, quickly lost altitude after a decent start on ABC, airing its last episode in February and being replaced at midseason by “GCB.” The network finally got around to officially canceling “Pan Am” — along with “GCB” — on May 11.

The story reports that producer Sony Pictures TV has been talking with Amazon about having the online giant pick up the show. Amazon already carries the show’s first season on its online streaming service.

The report notes that the precedent has been set for the kind of move Amazon is contemplating: “Picking up canceled broadcast series, NBC’s ‘Friday Night Lights’ and FX’s ‘Damages,’ was how DirecTV entered the original series arena. Netflix is doing it too with a new season of ‘Arrested Development.’ Picking up ‘Pan Am’ would certainly put Amazon on the map, though it seems at odds with the company’s recently announced plans to focus on comedy and children’s programming produced by its newly launched Amazon Studios.”

Amazon could in effect claim “Pan Am” as its own, the report points out, because of the show’s brief run on ABC combined with Amazon’s existing offering of the previously produced episodes. The streaming service could use it as a high-end drama complement to its upcoming slate of comedies, the story notes.

“Pan Am’s” appeal in the international market gives Sony an incentive to keep it going, the story points out, creating economics that may make more sense than it appears at first.

One Comment

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. It’d be even more interesting to know how many paid viewers Amazon gets for the current Pan Am. Is the audience for this more likely to buy episodes than other canceled dramas? Hmmm.

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