Unfriendly Skies for ‘Pan Am’ as Ratings Fall

by | October 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Ratings, TV News

Michael Mosley in "Pan Am" (Photo: ABC)

ABC’s “Pan Am” continues to encounter turbulence in the ratings.

The high-flying series about sexy stewardesses in the swinging ’60s lost viewers again Sunday night — the third consecutive loss for the four-week-old show.

All told, “Pan Am” has lost nearly half its viewers since it premiered Sept. 25. Back then, the series drew 11.063 million for Episode One, according to Nielsen national ratings, following an avalanche of pre-launch publicity. This past Sunday night, however (Oct. 16), “Pan Am” averaged just 5.891 million in the Nielsen overnights at 10-11 p.m./9-10c on ABC.

That’s a loss of 5.172 million viewers off of its premiere — or nearly 47 percent of its viewership. Those weekly losses, coupled with similarly steady declines in ABC’s target demo week-to-week, could spell trouble for the show and also for this season’s ’60s mini-trend.

“The Playboy Club” on NBC, network television’s other new ’60s show inspired by AMC’s success with “Mad Men,” quickly bit the dust after just two episodes. “Pan Am” is still alive, but its ratings are now in “Charlie Angels” territory, and ABC cancelled that show last week.

Elsewhere in the Sunday overnight Nielsens:

ABC’s average for the four hours of prime time (7-11/6-10c) was just 6.915 million viewers, including: 6.433 million for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” at 7/6c, 7.102 million for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at 8/7c, 8.236 million for “Desperate Housewives” at 9/8c (a very low number for another formerly high-flying series), and the aforementioned numbers for “Pan Am” at 10/9c.

NBC won the night with an average viewership of 12.315 million, including three hours of NFL football — the Chicago Bears blowout over the Minnesota Vikings — which averaged 14.181 million for the network between 8 and 11 p.m. (7-10c).

CBS saw “The Good Wife” beat “Desperate Housewives” once again in TV’s weekly battle of the wives. “The Good Wife” drew 10.042 million Sunday night at 9/8c. CBS averaged 10.203 million on the night.

Fox pulled a last-minute switcheroo in programming Sunday night — airing two hours of “The X Factor” starting at 8/7c following late-afternoon football. Fox had formerly planned to air an American League Championship Series playoff game, but the Texas Rangers’ victory in the series against Detroit on Saturday left Fox with a prime-time hole to fill.

As it happened, “The X Factor” helped Fox to a prime-time average of 11.614 million on the night to land in second place after NBC.

Catch it while you can: Check out Sunday night’s episode of “Pan Am” here:





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