ABC has been forced to debunk talk that its period drama, Pan Am, is on the chopping block after Karine Vanasse, who plays a flight attendant on the show, posted a tweet claiming that the series has been canceled.
Is ABC pulling the plug on Pan Am? That depends on who’s telling the story.
Series star Karine Vanasse nearly gave fans of the ratings-challenged series a coronary when she posted a morbid tweet about the show’s future early Tuesday.
“Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we’ll give it our all!” Vanasse, who plays a French flight attendant on the program, wrote earnestly.
No sooner had the tweet gone live did ABC launched into spin control, issuing a statement denying that it’s axing the period drama that was recently left off of its midseason schedule. Sony, which produces Pan Am, also called Vanasse’s tweet hogwash.
“Nothing has changed. We are not canceling Pan Am,” The Alphabet Network assured viewers in a statement this afternoon. “We are still in production and will continue to be in production finishing the original 13 episodes plus one more additional one. We have one more original episode this coming week, Dec. 4 and then will return in January with new episodes, airing all of them. Pan Am is still in contention for next season.”
“We won’t know about that until our upfront announcement in May,” ABC chiefs added.
Well, that news got Vanasse in a better mood, but not before she exposed herself as a graduate of “Ashton Kutcher’s Tweet Now, Research Later Institute of Microblogging.”
“Sorry for the confusion #PanAmfans. We still have 5 episodes to air until February! :),” she tweeted a short time later.
Pan Am debuted to solid ratings when it premiered in September. The show boasted a series premiere audience of about 11 million, but subsequent airings saw a sharp decline in viewership. The most recent episode was watched by a measly 5.6 million viewers.
The Mad Men-esque soap, set in the 1960s, focuses on the personal lives of flight attendants (or stewardesses, as they were known back in the olden days) and pilots of the now-defunct, real-life airline Pan American World Airways. Mike Vogel, Michael Mosley, former child star Christina Ricci and Australian actress Margot Robbie round out the cast. Pan Am is one of two period dramas that made its way to network TV at the start of the fall 2011 season. The second, NBC’s The Playboy Club, was canned in September, after three episodes and a firestorm of protests from the Parents Television Council, real-life former Playboy Club employees and feminist activists.
Image courtesy ABC