Pan Am News Archive

Leonardo DiCaprio Was Shocked Filming Sex Scene With Margot Robbie in Wolf of Wall Street-Find Out Why!

(12/31/13) (Photo) Leonardo DiCaprio is a pro when it comes to shooting steamy sex scenes (remember that car scene in Titanic?), but the Wolf of Wall Street actor was in for quite a surprise when it came time to get close to costar Margot Robbie on camera.

Margot, 23, opened up to Manhattan magazine's January/February issue about the seemingly awkward, albeit comical, experience.

"We were positioned while they lit around us in one scene, and I kind of pushed Leo's head to one side and told him he was in my light and he moved out of [it]," she said. "He was so incredulous that I had told him to get out of my light, and physically moved him out of the way, he was like, 'Did you really just do that?'"

"I don't think anyone has told him to get out of their light in quite some time," she added. "He seemed extremely [shocked], but it was kind of funny."

It might've been Margot telling Leo what to do in the bedroom scenes, but she was also looking up to him throughout filming! "Working with Leo challenged me every single second—the challenge just to keep up with him pushed me and got my acting to a level it's never been, which is incredibly satisfying," she said, calling the experience "a dream come true."

"He's always been my favorite actor," she added. "Both he and Marty [Martin Scorcese] have such massive presences when you're around them—they're unstoppable, like this force that keeps moving; they have so much dimension, it sometimes seems impossible to keep up with them."

Seems like she's doing just fine.

Margot Robbie: Sex scenes with Leo 'the least romantic thing'

(12/19/13) Well, we know what President Obama will have in his DVD player this week.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese reportedly headed to the White House on Wednesday to personally deliver the Commander in Chief a screener of “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Before heading to DC, DiCaprio was at a Four Seasons restaurant lunch for the film with the rest of the cast — including Margot Robbie, who dished to us that her steamy sex scenes with Leo on-screen were actually “the least romantic thing.”

“The whole thing ended up being quite comical,” said Robbie, whose love scene with Leo involves a barking dog on their bed.

“We [had to] entice this dog to jump in the bed and bite at Leo’s feet .?.?. so we had dog trainers at the end of the bed [with] dog treats .?.?. we’re putting chicken liver on Leo’s toes. We’re in a small room, it’s hot, it’s sweaty, it smells like dog food.”

Leo and his “Wolf” pack had been at a premiere of the film the night before at the Ziegfeld, and he showed up at a Roseland Ballroom after-party with a posse of pals including Orlando Bloom, Tobey Maguire, Lukas Haas, Kevin Connolly and Jonah Hill. They then continued to party at Tao Downtown before capping off the night at 1Oak.

Reps for the White House, DiCaprio and Scorsese didn’t get back to us about the DC visit.

Leo and co-star dazzle at 'Wolf of Wall Street' premiere

(12/18/13) There was plenty to howl about on streets of Midtown Tuesday night as Leonardo DiCaprio posed with Australian stunner Margot Robbie at the Ziegfeld Theatre for the US premiere of their new movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

DiCaprio, whose character embodies the greedy underbelly of the corrupt financial world, cut a fine figure next to the woman who plays his seductive love interest.

The film, set in the 1990s, will be released on Christmas Day. It tells the true tale of securities mastermind Jordan Belfort, who made millions while partying like a rock star. Blond bombshell Robbie plays Naomi Lapaglia.

Belfort, the real wolf of Wall Street, recently told The Post he had some regrets about his hard-partying past.

“It’s a weird journey that I took. It’s surreal,” he said.

“I did some stuff I’m not proud of. Good stuff I did. Awful stuff I did. I’m different now.’’

DiCaprio beat out Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt for the leading role in the Martin Scorsese-directed movie.

Lifetime's new trailer for Lizzie Borden Took An Ax

(12/16/13) Lifetime has unveiled a new trailer for its original movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax, premiering Jan. 25. Take a look at the bloody action, starring Christina Ricci, here.

'Wolf' star's sporting spirit

(12/15/13) (Photo) “The Wolf of Wall Street” star Margot Robbie is getting into the city’s sporting spirit. The Aussie beauty was spotted Thursday at MSG to catch the Rangers along with her mother. Spies said she ducked into the ladies’ room to put on a Henrik Lundqvist jersey moments before the puck dropped. Robbie seemed animated during the game and was later seen being comforted by her mom after the team lost to the Blue Jackets. ­Robbie, 23, stars opposite Leo ­DiCaprio. The film opens Dec. 25.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie Promote New Movie Together After Shooting Down Cheating Rumors

(11/20/13) (Photo) Will Smith and Margot Robbie are staying focused.

In the wake of those "ridiculous" cheating rumors surrounding the Focus costars, the 45-year-old actor and the 23-year-old Australian actress got together to promote their new movie at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Both looked to be in good spirits as they happily smiled and posed for pics with each other.

While Smith sported a yellow sweater and black jeans, Robbie was decked out in a pair of white pants and a sleeveless black blouse.

Earlier this month, a source told E! News that there was no truth to a Star cover story claiming that Smith, married to Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997, had a flirty photo booth session that maybe led to something more with Robbie.

The report stemmed from photos—that were duly splashed on the tabloid's cover—of the duo hamming it up in the booth.

"These pictures were commissioned by production. The entire cast and crew saw them taken," our source said. "The photo booth was on set all day for a bit of fun. It wasn't even a party—they were taken during the day and everyone knew about them. It was the last day of shooting."

The source added: "Will and Margot are absolutely just friends, that is all."

Robbie herself took to Twitter on Nov. 7 to set the record straight as well, writing, "Been working non-stop, just catching my breath. There's absolutely no truth to the ridiculous rumor in Star mag."

In Focus, which was shooting in New Orleans, Robbie plays an impressionable woman who gets caught up—and then becomes romantically involved—with Smith's veteran grifter. Kristen Stewart was previously attached to the role, but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

Tenants of burned Hollywood high rise sue Ashley Greene

(11/19/13) Four residents of West Hollywood’s Granville Towers are suing “Twilight” star Ashley Greene over the March fire that gutted her apartment and killed her beloved pooch.

The suit claims the blaze has turned the historic building into a disruptive construction zone, reports The Post’s Kirsten Fleming.

Timothy Long, a producer of “The Simpsons,” Nick Gruber’s ex-boyfriend John Luciano and interior designer Anna Lobell allege that Greene was a horrible neighbor who never apologized for igniting the fire and has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

“Living next to Ashley was pure hell,” says Luciano. “It was like living next to Studio 54, with people coming and going at all hours of the night. We would have had more peace and quiet living next to Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller.”

The blaze was officially ruled an accident and attributed to a candle.

The plaintiffs, which also includes doorman Adrian Mayorga, are seeking unspecified damages from the 26-year-old actress.

“My clients have been through hell,” says tenants’ lawyer Keith Davidson.

A source close to Greene says she’s “completely distraught” over the situation: “None of it was intentional and she feels deeply saddened by the whole thing.”

Christina Ricci is murderous in 'Lizzie Borden Took An Ax'

(11/18/13) (Photo) Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks…

It’s not just a disturbing nursery rhyme! Now the true story of how Lizzie Borden murdered her parents (or did she?) in the summer of 1892 is being brought to Lifetime, with Christina Ricci as the eponymous Lizzie. The true-crime case captured national attention when it first happened, proving that Americans obsession with scandalous and sordid tales is nothing new.

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax also stars Billy Campbell as Borden’s lawyer, and Clea DuVall (Argo) as her sister. The TV movie — with the perfectly pun-y tagline “It’s time to bury the hatchet” — will premiere on Lifetime Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Margot Robbie: Will Smith and I Were Just 'Goofing Around'

(11/8/13) Nothing to see here!

That's Margot Robbie's response to speculation that's been swirling ever since suggestive photos of her and Will Smith, taken in a photo booth, emerged this week.

"Been working non-stop, just catching my breath. There's absolutely no truth to the ridiculous rumor," the Australian actress wrote on Twitter.

She adds: "It's disappointing that goofing around on set could be taken so out of context."

That echoes what an insider told PEOPLE on Thursday – that Robbie, 23, and Smith, 45, "are just friends and were just being silly" by baring their chests in a photo booth on the set of the movie Focus.

Smith has not commented publicly on the controversy. But the source told PEOPLE that the incident poses no threat to Smith's relationship with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, saying: "Will and Jada's marriage is fine. Everyone there knows it was nothing."

Will Smith & Margot Robbie 'Are Just Being Silly' in Suggestive Photos, Source Says

(11/8/13) There's no denying that Will Smith and his Focus costar Margot Robbie put their inhibitions aside inside a photo booth recently. Yet an insider insists the images simply show two friends goofing off – and nothing more.

"The photo booth was on set," the source tells PEOPLE. "The whole cast and crew were there and everyone was sharing all the photos being taken. They are just friends and were just being silly."

The black and white photos – which show Smith, 45, exposing his bare chest while Robbie, 23, reveals her bra – were published in a tabloid this week as a sign the actor could be cheating on wife Jada Pinkett Smith. (The Australian Robbie, who is single, has been previously linked to Leonardo DiCaprio, her costar in The Wolf of Wall Street.)

"Will and Jada's marriage is fine," says the source. "Everyone there knows it was nothing."

The insider adds that the photo booth was brought on set during a day of shooting to celebrate cast and crew before moving locations. "This was done in front of many people goofing around," the source says. "They are just friends. This was a very fun and friendly set overall."

Rumors about the state of the Smiths relationship have long dogged the couple, and last year Pinkett Smith, 42, brushed them off while speaking to Essence.

"We're not getting a divorce. Where am I gonna go? Where am I going to go?" she said.

"That's my boo. It's like he's another part of me," she added.

In late September, Pinkett Smith posted a Facebook shot of her and her "boo" – along with Smith's older son Trey – in Louisiana, where Smith was filming.

"The handsome two and I about to roll through the beautiful swamps of Louisiana with Willow and Jaden as well:) It was an amazing day, and I feel so lucky to have a beautiful family to have shared it with."

Will Smith Cheating Story Not True: So-Called Flirty Photos With Margot Robbie Were Part of Movie Production

(11/7/13) Will Smith didn't cheat on his wife of 16 years with his 23-year-old costar.

A source tells E! News that there is no truth to aStar cover story charging that Will had a flirty photo booth session that maybe led to something more with Australian actress Margot Robbie, his leading lady in Focus.

The report stems from pics—that were duly splashed on the tabloid's cover—of the two hamming it up in the booth.

"These pictures were commissioned by production. The entire cast and crew saw them taken," our source says. "The photo booth was on set all day for a bit of fun. It wasn't even a party—they were taken during the day and everyone knew about them. It was the last day of shooting."

The source adds: "Will and Margot are absolutely just friends, that is all."

In Focus, which was shooting in New Orleans, Robbie plays an impressionable woman who gets caught up—and then becomes romantically involved—with Smith's veteran grifter. Kristen Stewart was previously attached to the role, but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith tied the knot in 1997, the actor's second marriage, and are parents to son Jaden and daughter Willow. Will also has son Trey from his first marriage.

Jada described their marriage to Access Hollywood last year as "totally indestructible."

On The Queen Latifah Show in September, Will laughingly recalled getting a Google alert that he was getting divorced while lying in bed with his wife.

"It says, 'Jada Pinkett Smith files for divorce.' So I'm like, 'This is crazy!'" the 44-year-old actor recalled.

"It's hard in relationships in general when people expect it to be easy," Smith said. "It's not easy. It's the individual most difficult thing that you're ever going to do in your life—to try to handle the challenges of life and family and love, side by side for somebody for the rest of your life? It's a battle."

Will Smith caught in racy photos with 23-year-old co-star

(11/7/13) (Cover) “Men in Black” star Will Smith has been caught in compromising photos with Margot Robbie, the 23-year-old co-star of his new film, “Focus.”

According to a Star magazine cover story, Smith – who’s been married to Jada Pinkett-Smith for 15 years — and Robbie hopped into a photo booth together at a party for some racy shots. And afterwards he gave her a piggy back ride and headed off to his trailer.

The photo booth shots show Smith lifting his shirt up while sexy Robbie does the same to reveal a frilly bra. In another photo, she flashes peace signs while Smith lasciviously leans in with his tongue out. In yet another, Smith smiles while Robbie wears a seductive mask.

The report says the pair stepped into the photo booth at a cast party together in New Orleans on Oct. 25. “He wasn’t acting like a married man,” a source told the magazine of Smith. “He gave no signs that he was in a committed relationship… what kind of married man would go into a photo booth with a sexy 23-year-old and start to undress?”

The witness at the New Orleans party further told Star, “Once they pulled the curtain back to take the pictures, they let their inhibitions run wild, laughing, hugging and nuzzling each other in the dark.” And, “Margot directed Will before each pose… she asked Will to take a sexy picture with her, as she pulled up her shirt and exposed her lingerie for Will and the camera.”

The witness added, “They were hanging all over each other, laughing like they were a new couple in love.”

After the photo session, the report says Robbie climbed onto Smith’s back, “piggyback style.” And the allegedly amorous pair, “headed toward his trailer.” But the duo never even grabbed their photos. “After they left the party, they were gone all night,” the source said.

Smith, 45, and Robbie’s characters are reportedly romantically linked in the film — and Robbie has been quoted as saying that after she auditioned for her part with Smith, “we had a natural chemistry.”

Meantime, reports have repeatedly surfaced that Smith’s marriage is struggling. Around the same time of his photo booth escapade, Pinkett-Smith was in Baltimore to speak at the Associated Black Charities of Baltimore Girls’ Night Out event. During her address at the Oct. 23 gala, Star reports, Pinkett-Smith, “dropped blatant hints about her unhappy marriage.”

The “Matrix Reloaded” actress , “sullenly looked out into the crowd,” and, according to an audience member, said, “When you are going through a storm with your spouse… stop thinking about what you ‘believe’ a husband or wife should be.”

Reps for Smith could not immediately be reach for comment.

Christina Ricci's Givenchy Wedding Dress-See the Pics!

(10/30/13) (Photo, Photo2) Christina Ricci married James Heerdegen over the weekend in a private ceremony in New York City. But details of the nuptials didn't stay secret for long, mainly because the bride was so over the moon about her gorgeous gown.

On Wednesday the actress shared a picture of her custom Givenchy dress on her Twitter account, writing: "I'm sorry I have to share what @riccardotisci made for me!! #iloveyouricky!"

More like sorry you're not sorry—and with one glance at that dress, why would you be? The haute couture gown featured a mini pearl embellished top with lace sleeves and cutouts at the shoulder. The silk tulle skirt included a train which complimented the shorter tulle veil.

The ultra delicate theme also extend to the bride's small bouquet which appeared to contain a mix of blush and white flowers.

Yet even with the picturesque Big Apple backdrop, it is the dress that we can't take our eyes off. Clearly, Riccardo Tisci knows what he's doing when it comes to bridal looks (not that we had any doubts). Even more reason for the designer to create a custom gown for close pal and bride-to-be Kim Kardashian.

Christina Ricci's Givenchy Wedding Dress: See An Exclusive Photo!

(10/29/13) (Photo) The first thing we thought when we heard Christina Ricci married James Heerdegen: We can’t wait to see her dress. And the wait was worth it. The actress shared an exclusive intimate photo with PEOPLE of her Givenchy haute couture gown.

Ricci, 33, did not go the traditional princess route (we knew she wouldn’t), selecting a white silk tulle design with Chantilly lace and satin piping. The dress is also covered in micro pearl embroidery and features a very unique detail: short lace sleeves with cutouts at the shoulders. Not pictured: her white tulle veil, which had a matching Chantilly lace appliqué.

The star and longtime boyfriend Heerdegen said “I do” in an intimate New York ceremony Saturday night before their family and friends. The nuptials took place at Manhattan’s Harold Pratt House & Peterson Hall.

“Getting to say ‘fiancé’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ is my favorite thing,” about being engaged, the actress told PEOPLE in July. “I can’t wait for ‘husband.’”

Christina Ricci Marries Longtime Boyfriend

(10/27/13) Christina Ricci married her longtime boyfriend, camera technician James Heerdegen,Saturday in New York City, People reports.

The couple wed in an intimate ceremony in front of family and friends at the Harold Pratt House & Peterson Hall in Manhattan, a nearly century-old mansion that serves as the headquarters of the Council on Foreign Relations, according to People.

Ricci, 33, and Heerdegen met on the set of ABC's short-lived 2011 series Pan Am. They announced their engagement in February.

Ricci was previously engaged to actor Owen Benjamin.

Ashley Greene Sparks Engagement Rumors After Stepping Out Wearing a Ring and Holding Hands With a New Man-See the Pics

(9/30/13) (Photo, Photo2) Is she or isn't she?

That was the big question over the weekend as Ashley Greene was not only spotted walking hand in hand with a handsome gentleman, but was also seen sporting a ring on, yes, that finger.

As a result, the rumor mill immediately went into overdrive that the Twilight star might be engaged.

Well, before you go looking for a bridal registry, a source tells E! News the ring is not an engagement ring.

As for the mystery man the 26-year-old actress was seen strolling with in Los Angeles, he's been identified as Paul Khoury.

Of course, if his name sounds familiar, that's because he made headlines back in March when he was photographed in a car with Miley Cyrus sans her engagement ring.

It turned out, though, he's simply a friend of both the "Wrecking Ball" singer and her then-fiancé Liam Hemsworth.

Guess time will tell if he's more than just friends with Greene.

Ashley Greene Fatal Candle Fire SETTLED ... For a High Price

(9/18/13) Ashley Greene caused the fire inside of her apartment that killed one of her dogs ... it's now official, and her insurance company has to pony up over $305k to pay for the damage.

The owner of Ashley's unit tells TMZ ... Ashley's insurance company had been stalling for months. An insurance company rep told the owner they were having trouble getting Ashley to sit down for an interview. Apparently that happened, and the company is now convinced the actress was responsible for the blaze.

The owner of the unit is pissed, because she doesn't have the cash to make the repairs ... but she will soon.

As we previously reported -- both of Ashley's dogs were inside the apartment when a lit candle fell over and set the place on fire ... only one got out alive. Ashley, her brother and a friend were also inside. None of them were hurt.


(9/18/13) Christina Ricci at Michael’s in Midtown on Tuesday with top talent agent Boaty Boatwright.

Cory Monteith: "He Didn't Want to Be Just Finn," Says All the Wrong Reasons Costar Karine Vanasse

(9/16/13) Cory Monteith may forever be remembered most for his role on Glee, but the late actor wanted more when it came to his acting career.

In one of his two last films, All the Wrong Reasons, he plays a manager of a grocery store whose marriage is falling apart under the strain of his wife's post-traumatic stress disorder.

"He was this big TV star who chose to do this small Canadian film and not everybody does that," Karine Vanasse, who plays Monteith's wife, said at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. "For him, he wanted to show his team, himself and his fans that he had all this other potential to develop and he wanted his career to maybe head in that direction."

She said, "He didn't want to be just Finn."

Not that he didn't appreciate his Gleeks. Many fans would show up to the set with coffee and treats for the crew "hoping that maybe they could see Cory," Vanasse said. "Cory would always make himself available to them."

Monteith wasn't originally set to star in the movie. He came through at the last minute when another actor had to bow out.

"I saw him on a show being interviewed, and he said he wanted to do something different," director Gia Milani said. "That caught my ear so I thought, 'Maybe there's a shot that this guy may want to do this part.' We got [the script] to his agent and he read it in between doing interviews at Comic-Con. He called me the next day, and he was on a plane four hours later."

Fortunately, Monteith did get to watch the film not long before he died of a drug overdose at age 31 in July.

"He said it was intense," Milani said. "He liked it. He was looking forward to promoting it."

Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci Reunite After 23 Years-See the Pic!

(9/13/13) (New Photo, Old Photo) Now…and then.

It's pretty hard to believe it's already been 23 years since Christina Ricci and Winona Ryder costarred in the hit flick Mermaids.

Both ladies reunited for the Marc Jacobs' Spring 2014 runway show at New York Fashion Week on Thursday and sat next to one another in the coveted front row.

And while both brunette beauties look fabulous, it's hard believe that these two go way back—like, two decades back.

The two actresses said hello and hugged one another, but mainly focused on the reason for the occasion: the clothes.

So maybe they had a proper catch-up session after the show? We'll go ahead and tell ourselves it went down something like that.

Ricci looked perfectly on trend in a navy sundress and bold teal eyeliner, a far cry from her younger more gothic-inspired years.

Meanwhile, Ryder appeared in typical Hollywood quirky glam with a bright red lip, side part and mint-colored satin frock.

Mermaids was released back in 1990 and starred none other than Cher.

Ricci was merely 10 when the film landed in the theaters, while Ryder was slightly more grown-up at the age of 18.

Ashley Greene Sunbathes Topless While Filming in NYC - See the Sexy Pic!

(9/11/13) (Photo) Well hello there, Ashley Greene!

While filming her new movie Staten Island Summer in NYC this week, the 26-year-old actress went topless for a sexy sunbathing scene.

Greene looked gorgeous sans her top while laying poolside at Great Kills in Staten Island. The Twilight actress laid on her stomach on a chair while wearing only yellow bikini bottoms. She used a towel under her to try to cover her chest.

Greene completed her sexy sunbathing look with gold hoop earrings.

Also on set were her costars Vincent Pastore and Graham Phillips. Staten Island Summer tells the story of two male friends who spend the summer after high school working as lifeguards.

Greene isn't spending every second on set though. She tweeted yesterday, "Had a wonderful time at the Kaufman Franco show today #nyfw #kaufmanfranco #amazedagain."

Ex-Mad Man In AMC's Sights

(9/7/13) Former Mad Men cad Darren Pettie has joined AMC?s Jonathan Demme-directed drama pilot Line of Sight as a series regular, TVLine has learned exclusively.

The project centers on Lewis Bernt (The Walking Dead?s David Morrissey), a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash and sets off on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident?s cause.

The cast also includes Sarah Clarke, Samantha Mathis, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Omar Metwally and LisaGay Hamilton.

On Mad Men, Pettie played Sal-crushing Lucky Strike heir Lee Garner, Jr. He also recurred as a crooked cop on The CW?s now-definct Ringer and Pan-Am.

Ashley Greene Joins Lorne Michaels-Produced 'Staten Island Summer'

(8/20/13) The former Twilight Saga actress is going for the laughs. Ashley Greene has joined the cast of the Lorne Michaels- and John Goldwyn- produced comedy Staten Island Summer. Helmed by longtime Saturday Night Live director-producer Rhys Thomas and written by the late-night show’s head scribe Colin Jost, the pic follows the summer after high school graduation that friends Danny and Frank spend as poolside lifeguards. With the former off to Harvard and the latter unsure of what he wants to do next, the movie lays out the different directions the pals’ lives are about to take. Greene’s character in the Paramount movie is member of the pool club and the daughter of an overly protected mobster. It is also fair to say the actress plays the object of at least one of the boys’ desires. Set to start production later this month in New York, Staten Island Summer makes four the number of films Greene now has coming out. She stars in CBGB, about the famed NYC punk rock club, The Weinstein Company’s Random and Zach Braff’s Kickstarter funded film Wish I Was Here. Greene is repped by CAA and McKeon Myones Management.

'Under the Dome's' Mike Vogel: 'Actors are the dumbest group of individuals essentially out there'

(8/20/13) Born in Pennsylvania to a family with two grandfathers who fought in World War II, Mike Vogel now plays Army veteran Dale "Barbie" Barbara in CBS' Monday limited series "Under the Dome," based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.

Barbie is on a mission and has plenty of secrets and angst, but Vogel is a happily married father of three daughters. He also doesn't think much of actors opining on world issues.

"I grew up a plumber's son in Philadelphia," he tells Zap2it. "No one stuck a microphone in my dad's face, saying, 'What's your view on gun control?' But why would they care what I think? On paper, actors are the dumbest group of individuals essentially out there.

"Most of us have not gone to college. However, we never stop learning. Because of what we do, we're constantly researching, constantly learning. However, my opinion versus my dad's in Philadelphia doesn't hold any weight."

He's also found that sometimes it's difficult to swim against the tide in terms of political and social issues in Hollywood.

"All I ask for is dialogue," Vogel says. "Let's sit down and talk. That's why we left L.A. My wife and kids and I, we moved to Texas last year, to Austin. It's liberal Texas, but it's the one place where you will see the cowboy, the hippie, the soldier and the construction worker, all sitting at the same bar, having a civil conversation.

"You're going to get your wackos anywhere, but I want my kids exposed to discourse and to different views, but I don't want them to be shouted down for theirs. And that's it."

Being in the Lone Star State may have even inspired Vogel -- and maybe or maybe not wife Courtney -- to add to his family.

"I'll do it," Vogel says. "We had three, and we're still grossly under the quota system for Texas families."

While he says "Under the Dome" isn't trying to push a political agenda, it does spark conversations on the set in Wilmington, N.C.

"Trust me," says Vogel, "I'm knee-deep in discussion around here."

Birth date: July 17, 1979, in Abington Township, Pa.

Fashion cred: Modeled for Levi's and Kohl's before taking up acting

TV cred: "Grounded for Life," "Miami Medical," "Pan Am," "Bates Motel"

Film cred: "Grind," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Supercross," "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," "Havoc," "Rumor Has It," "Poseidon," "The Deaths of Ian Stone," "Cloverfield," "Across the Hall," "Open Graves," "Blue Valentine," "She's Out of My League," "The Help," "McCanick," "Jake Squared"

Favorite book:? " 'Wild at Heart' by John Eldredge. This was the first book that I had read from a Christian perspective that calls men into the lives that they were meant to live. It spoke to basest part of me, that every man has an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue and fight for. I have read it countless times."

Favorite music: "This one is almost impossible for me to answer. I have such an eclectic taste in music. Come to a backyard BBQ at my house and I will run the gamut from Skynyrd to Sinatra to '90s grunge, rap, R&B and classic rock. I have issues. If I had to pick one, I love this country artist named Craig Morgan. His music and his songs are so relateable and tell such vivid stories."

Favorite movie: "I have to split this one in two. For most of my life it was 'Kelly's Heroes' with Clint Eastwood ... . I can quote it from front to back. That all changed, however, when I went to see 'Saving Private Ryan' with my grandfather, a WWII vet. Sitting next to him during that first 15 minutes and watching him bob and weave in his seat because of the memories that it brought back was something I'll never forget."

Under the Dome's Mike Vogel Breaks Out As the Star of Summer's Biggest Hit

(8/12/13) ( Over the past six months, Mike Vogel has tangled with Norma and Norman on Bates Motel as sicko Deputy Shelby and made a trip to the unluckiest town ever as drifter Dale "Barbie" Barbara on CBS's hot adaptation of Stephen King's Under the Dome. But in real life, this 34-year-old Levi's model-turned-family man is frighteningly normal.

TV Guide Magazine: A killer turn on Bates Motel and a lead role on Dome, which just got picked up for a second season. It's a good time to be you, huh?

Mike Vogel: Oh, yeah, I planned it all! [Laughs] No, I'm very fortunate. I ran into the Bates people at Comic-Con last month, and to see the success they've had — it's all deserved. To have been a part of it at the beginning was a real blessing. And it's been fun for me to showcase two different characters.

TV Guide Magazine: Is Barbie a good guy or a bad guy?

Vogel: On the outside, he is rough around the edges and is connected to some ne­far­ious acts, so when you first meet him, it's easy to say he's a bad guy. But he's actually good. He's a sheepdog — in his nature, he's a protector.

TV Guide Magazine: You have a strong film career as well. Why commit to a TV show?

Vogel: It used to be that you either did film or television. But there's no line anymore.

TV Guide Magazine: That seems to be working for you.

Vogel: I've been fortunate to do a ton of different roles and yet somehow remain completely anonymous to the world — and the rest of Hollywood.

TV Guide Magazine: You're "Hey, it's that guy!"

Vogel: I am! "That guy who was in that thing." [Laughs] But it's been great, because I've been able to fly under the radar, feed my family and do the thing I love. I honestly think that having three kids has grounded me. I come home at night to my reasons for what I do.

TV Guide Magazine: Is being in Hollywood a lot like being trapped under a dome?

Vogel: Yes! Maybe it's that I grew up a plumber's son in Philadelphia, but I've always had this view that I am getting up and doing a job. I'm blessed to have the job I have, but I am no different from anyone else on the set. I'm just fulfilling a different role.

TV Guide Magazine: What's next for you?

Vogel: I did a couple of films last year that are coming out. Jake Squared with Elias Koteas and Virginia Madsen. And this great movie called McCanick with David Morse and Cory Monteith.

TV Guide Magazine: He talked to us right before he entered rehab. He was so excited about that movie.

Vogel: [His death was] a tragedy, for sure. It's a really amazing film.

Under the Dome airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.

Christina Ricci Reveals Her Favorite Thing About Being Engaged

(7/29/13) For Christina Ricci, it takes just one word to make her smile.

"Getting to say 'fiancé' instead of 'boyfriend,' " is the engaged actress's favorite thing about her relationship status, she tells PEOPLE at Sunday's The Smurfs 2 premiere in N.Y.C. "People take you so much more seriously once you start throwing around that word."

Next up: She's looking forward to using even stronger vocabulary once she and camera technician James Heerdegen wed.

"I can't wait for 'husband' because then I can really throw my weight around," says Ricci, 33, who voices Vexy, the animated troublemaker in the Smurfs sequel. "'My husband's going to come down here and talk to you!' That's a huge threat."

As for wedding planning, a destination event is out, but she picked out her dress, which was "designed by a friend of mine," she says.

'Under The Dome': Mike Vogel promises Barbie's secrets will catch up with him

(7/25/13) (Video) Mike Vogel's Dale "Barbie" Barbara has not had an easy time "Under The Dome" in Chester's Mill, and halfway through the show's Season 1 it seems his lies are finally beginning to unravel. When Zap2it spoke with Vogel at San Diego Comic-Con before the "Under The Dome" panel, the actor said that his character will soon be cornered by his own "cat-and-mouse game."

"Barbie thinks he has his way out, because he only has to cop to a certain amount of the story, and as we'll see in later episodes he eventually runs out of wiggle room," he says. "So you know, he kind of walks that line as much as he can, but he runs out of room eventually."

The audience's first glimpse of Barbie is him burying a corpse out in the woods, and though he quickly grows more likable, that specter follows him around in more ways than one. "That's the Stephen King thing here, is that, you know, he likes writing character where it's not always what meets the eye," Vogel says. "You'll see [Dean Norris's character] Big Jim, right, and you'll think, 'Great guy, cares about the town, you know, a politician through and through, just wants to help these people.' And I think as time will reveal, not necessarily the case."

Spoilers for "Under The Dome" Season 1. Through some twists of luck Barbie finds himself becoming ever closer with the widow of the man he killed. She doesn't even know her husband is dead, and fans are wondering just when she'll find out. "With his military background and everything he's constantly thinking several steps ahead," Vogel says. "So he's reading her, he's reading how much she knows, what she's been told, and so he's found out 'OK, I can tell this much and go this far and still be safe.' And for a second there he thinks, 'There. That's sorted, you know, I've got my alibi.' And we'll see what happens from there." End spoilers.

If Barbie's such a snake, why's he been so helpful throughout the show's first five episodes? "I think his hand was forced," Vogel says. "He's a guy that would gladly survive in the woods, by himself, away from everyone. But the protector in him and the circumstances kept kind of putting him into these scenarios that he couldn't get out of, and before he knew it he was kind of woven into what was happening."

"Had that dome not come down, he was gone," he adds.

Vogel also had a role on Season 1 of "Bates Motel" as Deputy Zack Shelby, but in order not to spoil too much let's just say he's no longer on the show. He's far from bitter, though. "It was a great," he says. "I'm so happy to see that they've had the success that they've had. Vera [Farmiga]'s unreal. The rest of the cast -- Freddie [Highmore], Max [Thieriot], Nestor [Carbonell] -- they're fantastic, and I was honored to take a turn on it. The writing on that show is so top notch. And yeah, I was honored to be a part of it."

"Under The Dome" airs Mondays on CBS at 10 p.m. ET.

Karine Vanasse Set For Guest Arc On ABC's 'Revenge'

(7/17/13) Karine Vanasse has been tapped for a multi-episode guest arc in the upcoming third season of ABC‘s Revenge. The Quebec-born actress will play the role of Margaux, a French businesswoman and former acquaintance of Daniel’s (Josh Bowman) who comes to town to start a magazine. She joins stars Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann, Henry Czerny and recently cast Justin Hartley. Vanasse co-starred in ABC’s Pan Am and also appeared in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. She’s repped by WME in the U.S., UBBA in France, and Agence M in Canada.

Ashley Greene In For Anna Kendrick On Zach Braff's Kickstarter Pic 'Wish I Was Here'

(7/17/13) Ashley Greene has replaced her former Twilight Saga cohort Anna Kendrick in Wish I Was Here, the film Zach Braff is making with a little help from a Kickstarter funding campaign. She joins Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad. Greene will next be seen in CBGB, the film about the famed punk rock club, and Random for The Weinstein Company.

'Under the Dome's' Mike Vogel: The Peter Shumway mystery has an awesome payoff at the end

(7/1/13) "Under the Dome" is off to a hot start on CBS, earning over 16 million viewers in live + 3-day ratings. Star Mike Vogel tells Zap2it that the excitement of the premiere doesn't let up in episode 2, titled "The Fire" -- including more of the Barbie-Junior Rennie clash.

"Barbie and Junior, it's safe to say that we are not going to be bosom buddies. What we'll see is the catalyst, Angie, is all misconstrued. Junior sees one thing and acts on that, Barbie is kind of left going, 'What the hell are you talking about, buddy?' They both have different reasons for being suspect of the other, which play out throughout the season," says Vogel.

Another season-long mystery is, of course, why was Barbie burying Peter Shumway's body in the opening scene of "Dome," and how will that affect his relationship with Julia Shumway, who has just suddenly become Barbie's new friend letting him stay with her.

"It's a mystery that we will explore throughout the season. I would say -- tune in on Monday. You're going to get a lot of clarification on some aspects of [Peter Shumway's death]," says Vogel. "It still doesn't tie up the sticky situation that he's in with other people that may be related to Peter Shumway. [laughs] That's an ongoing thing, as well as we find out how complicated the whole Peter Shumway ordeal -- it's not as cut-and-dried as it may appear. It's pretty calculated."

Vogel adds that the Julia and Peter Shumway situation will have a terrific resolution for the viewers.

"We save a lot of the mystery, we play both sides of that fence. However, people won't have to wait -- we're not just leaving that an open-ended mystery. It's addressed throughout the season. It has a pretty awesome, awesome, awesome payoff at the end of it all, how it all comes to light," says Vogel.

In addition to the Shumway mystery, there is also just the mystery of who Dale Barbara is and where he came from, as he's not a native of Chester's Mill.

"It seems that he is a new face, just happens to be a passerby. But in the next three or four episodes, we'll found out he may not have been such the tourist that he describes or that we may have thought. We'll found out some other stuff about how he got here, why he's here and how long he's been here," says Vogel.

"In the event that there are multiple seasons, they've had to leave the show this season so that you see those lines being drawn but how we get there is the exciting thing. We see Barbie becoming an unlikely, unwilling hero in all of this. Barbie's biggest thing is that he's trapped in a town where he's got a bunch of skeletons in the closet and all he wants to do is disappear.

"And with his special forces background, he could easily disappear into the woods and ride this out. The problem is he keeps finding himself pulled into different scenarios that force his hand. It also speaks to his character that is enabling him to be a protector/defender who intervenes in situations to help people.

"The charges that are leveled against him go against what people see as his character and what his actions are, so people are forced to reconcile one with the other."

"Under the Dome" airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Comic-Con 2013

(6/28/13) "Under the Dome" - Sunday, July 21 - 2:15-3:15pm

Get a sneak peek of what's in store for the town and its residents as they become sealed off from the rest of the world in this summer's critically acclaimed series based on the bestselling book by Stephen King. The panel will include stars Dean Norris, Mike Vogel and Rachelle Lefevre along with executive producers Brian K. Vaughan and Neal Baer.

Ashley Greene Adopts Two Puppies-See the Adorable Pics!

(6/28/13) (Photo) Ashley Greene's family just got bigger!

The Twilight beauty announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon that she adopted not just one, but two adorable puppies.

"Today felt like a great day to rescue a puppy…or two!" the actress wrote. "I couldn't take a brother without her sister! #spotrescue #Love #Life #theosnewfam."

The precious pooches looked so excited to be adopted as they posed with new collars and their ears up high. We wouldn't be surprised if their tails were wagging too.

In fact, just a couple of hours after arriving home, Greene showed how easy the transformation was for the dogs.

"Well…Ralph's already made himself at home… #Puppylove," she captioned with a photo showing one of the dogs resting on her hardwood floors with toys in the background.

The star's decision to adopt new dogs comes three short months after the unexpected loss of her fox terrier Marlo. The four-legged friend passed away in March when parts of Greene's Los Angeles apartment complex went up in flames. The proud dog owner wasn't home at the time of the fire and was unable to her pet.

A source says Greene was very attached to Marlo and often tweeted pics of her.

"She is absolutely heartbroken," a source told E! News shortly after the apartment fire. "This is a terrible, terrible time and it's been a very hard situation to swallow."

After a few months of healing, however, it appears Greene is finally ready to move on and see even more tails wagging again.

The actress joins a large list of celebrities who are expanding their families with furry friends.

New Girl actress Zooey Deschanel rescued two dogs, Zelda and Dot, earlier this spring. She called them the "greatest, sweetest, most wonderful dogs in the world." Brandi Glanville from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills also received a new pup named Chody after her dog went missing. Even Chris Brown is a proud new dog owner with a cute bulldog.

It looks like Greene won't be the only celebrity with a new best friend this summer.

Margot Robbie, Ruth Wilson, Alexandra Maria Lara Join Weinstein Co.'s 'Suite Française'

(6/27/13) The Weinstein Co. closed a multi-territory deal for Suite Française at Cannes this year, taking rights to the WWII drama for the U.S., Latin America, Australia, Russia and Germany. Principal photography got underway this week on the period piece that will shoot in Brussels and Paris. Michelle Williams, Mathias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Riley were already aboard with Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Rush) now joining the 15M euro project. It’s adapted from Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about a young French woman who falls for a German officer in Nazi-occupied France. Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess) penned the adaptation with co-writer Matt Charman. Film is a France/UK/Belgium co-production. TF1 has French rights, eOne has the UK, Spain and Canada. BBC Films is also a backer. EOne’s Xavier Marchand, TF1's Romain Brémond and Qwerty Films’ Michael Kuhn and Andrea Cornwell produce. Harvey Weinstein and BBC Films’ Christine Langan are exec producers.

Ashley Greene Goes Makeup Free During Trip to Nail Salon-See The Pic!

(6/17/13) Now this is how you treat yourself!

Twilight beauty Ashley Greene kicked off her weekend with a little rest and relaxation at the Beverly Hills Nail Design.

Joined by her favorite gal pals, the 26-year-old went makeup free as she enjoyed a manicure and pedicure.

Wearing a black tank top and ripped jean shorts, the actress was all smiles especially when she received an added bonus.

After getting her nails and toes freshly done, Greene was treated to a special shoulder massage from one of the employees. Talk about getting pampered!

It's safe to say Greene had one beautiful weekend.

Christina Ricci To Play Lizzie Borden In Lifetime Movie

(6/8/13) Long before Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias, there was another young American woman on a trial for murder that became a media spectacle. I’ve learned exclusively that Christina Ricci has been tapped to play Lizzie Borden in a Lifetime original movie about the woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother. Directed by Nick Gomez and produced by Sony Pictures Television, the movie tells the story of Fall River, Mass., resident Borden, who finds herself on trial for the brutal murder with a hatchet-type weapon of her father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and his second wife, Abby Durfee Gray Borden, at their family home. She was acquitted at a trial, which drew national attention, though no one else was ever charged with the crime, which has remained unsolved. Despite being found guilty in the court of public opinion in her native town, at least in some circles, Borden lived in Fall River for the rest of her life. Judith Verno (Lifetime’s Drew Peterson: Untouchable) executive produces the movie, which joins such recent entries at the network as Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy, Prosecuting Casey Anthony and the upcoming Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, which also is exec produced by Verno. Elizabeth Montgomery played Borden in the 1975 ABC movie The Legend Of Lizzie Borden. Additionally, Chloe Sevigny was attached to play the role in a miniseries for HBO two years ago.

Ashley Greene: How I'm Getting Through 'A Rough Few Months'

(5/15/13) Two months after losing her beloved fox terrier in an apartment fire, Twilight's Ashley Greene has found a surefire way to move forward with her loss: shifting her focus to helping others.

"Obviously, I've had a rough few months, but I'm doing okay," she tells PEOPLE. "I'm exploring new opportunities, and I try to participate in charity events as much as possible."

"It's very important to me to focus on others, not just myself. You look at children with cancer and you think, 'Wow, it really puts my own problems into perspective.' Not to say that what we all go through isn't important, but there are people who have much greater problems that they deal with every day."

Greene caught up with PEOPLE backstage at the Runway to Hope Spring Fashion Soiree on Saturday.

The event, founded by CNN analyst Mark NeJame and his wife Josie, raised more than $700,000 for pediatric cancer research. Greene and Olympic medalist Gabby Douglas emceed a fashion show and chatted with the runway models – all pediatric cancer patients.

"The numbers are just staggering. More than 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year," says the actress. "I definitely wanted to lend my name to something like this."

Next up for Greene: a role in the upcoming drama CBGB. One thing you won't see? The actress playing a vampire anytime soon. "If I've been getting vampire offers, my management hasn't been sending them to me," she says with a laugh. "We agreed that, unless a vampire role is spectacular, I just can't do it."

As for her Twilight costars, Greene says they mainly bump into each other on red carpets. "I still try to keep up with everyone, but we don't see each other as much as we'd like to. And then there's always Skype! I chatted with Kellan Lutz the other day and he was in Bulgaria!"

'Pitch Perfect' Star Anna Camp Getting Divorced -- Treble in Paradise

(5/2/13) Anna Camp -- the chick who barfed her guts out on stage in "Pitch Perfect" -- had a pretty crappy start to 2013 ... 'cause it's the day she broke up with her husband, this according to divorce docs obtained by TMZ.

Camp's actor hubby Michael Mosley -- who's appeared in a TON of TV shows including "30 Rock," "Justified," and "Scrubs" -- filed court docs, seeking to end his 3-year marriage to Camp.

According to the papers, filed April 23 in L.A. County Superior Court, Mosley lists the date of separation as January 1, 2013 ... New Year's Day.

Michael blames the split on irreconcilable differences.

We reached out to Camp -- so far, no word back.

Ashley Greene Spotted for the First Time Since Losing Dog in Condo Fire

(4/4/13) (Photo) We can't blame Ashley Greene for having a bit of trouble mustering up a full-blown smile.

After all, the Twilight star is no doubt still "heartbroken" about losing her dog in a fire that broke out in her West Hollywood condo last week.

But the 26-year actress looked pretty adorable nevertheless as she made her way through Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday.

It's the first sighting of Greene since the tragic incident.

And we must say, decked out in denim, brown flats and a white top, Greene made for one stylish traveler.

Three Actresses Testing To See If Glass Slipper Fits For 'Cinderella' Lead

(4/3/13) After getting a no from Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson for Cinderella, Disney and director Kenneth Branagh are testing three young actresses this week in London. One of them will likely walk away with the title role. I’m hearing that WME-repped Bella Heathcoate, UTA-repped Lily James and CAA-repped Margot Robbie are testing.

Heathcoate most recently was seen in Dark Shadows and Not Fade Away, while James was in Downton Abbey and Wrath Of The Titans and Robbie was in Pan Am and The Wolf Of Wall Street. Cinderella has Cate Blanchett attached.

Once Branagh lands Cinderella he’ll move on to the handsome prince. That list is just being compiled, but I’m told that WME-repped Richard Madden is on it. He plays aspiring king Robb Stark in HBO’s Game Of Thrones.

First Look: CBS Tackles Faith, Fear and Fascism in Under the Dome

(4/1/13) CBS is going Under the Dome.

The summer series, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and based on Stephen King's book of the same name, is about the small New England town of Chester's Mill, which mysteriously becomes sealed off from the world by an oversized transparent dome. The series will follow the citizens' struggle to survive as they try to learn more about the dome and how to get rid of it.

Although King's book is more than 1,000 pages, the story of those trapped under the dome takes place over just a few days in the novel. But King, who has been actively collaborating with the writers of the CBS series, had thought of years' worth of story lines when he wrote the first draft, which allows the writers to take certain liberties with the source material. "Stephen has just been very generous with us," executive producer Brian K. Vaughan said at Saturday's WonderCon panel for the series. "Stephen said, 'Really use the book as a jumping off point ... but don't be afraid to go to new places.'"

The drive of the series is to hopefully answer exactly what the dome is. Though the writers have an idea of how they will eventually conclude this tale, Vaughan notes that it will be different from King's version. But the producers insist that their adaptation is more about peering into the struggles faced by humanity by exploring how people would deal with this situation. Army veteran Barbie (Mike Vogel) and investigative reporter Julia (Rachelle Lefevre), among others in the town, will face those challenges head on as everyone grapples with selfishness or selflessness.

"When you're under those intense circumstances, people's good hearts or evil hearts may come out more than in everyday life, so this intensity under that dome, under that magnifying glass, gives us a chance to really dissect what really makes people do what they do," executive producer Neal Baer said. "It's a parable for our time. We all know about dwindling resources. We can really tackle those things without being preachy. I've always wanted to do a show like that. What happens when you run out of Tide soap? What do you use? Who rises [to the occasion]? Do you really need a banker under the dome? But farmers? Maybe you do."

Of course, there are certain people who will take advantage of this disastrous situation. Namely, Big Jim (Breaking Bad's Dean Norris), the evil owner of the town's used car dealership who thinks that he's above authority even before the dome descends. "The dome allows certain types of people the opportunity to become a bit of a dictator because they are cut off from anyone who would check that power," Norris said.

That particular aspect of the human condition is only one-third of what the writers are using as a guide for the first season. "We've divided the season into thirds," Baer said. "The three Fs that we're going by are faith ? 'This can't be real' or 'This won't last too long' ? to fear, like, 'Oh my God, what are we going to do?' to fascism ? 'Who's going to maintain order when people run out of things?'"

Check out the first footage from the series, which will premiere Monday, June 24 at 10/9c on CBS:

Ashley Greene's Dog Dies In Condo Fire

(3/22/13) Ashley Greene's West Hollywood condo caught fire on Friday, her rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

"The cause is undetermined," said the actress's spokesperson. No further details were provided.

A source tells PEOPLE that the Twilight star's two fox terriers were in the apartment at the time of the blaze. Rescuers were able to save one.

According to, who first posted the news of the blaze, 10 fire trucks arrived on the scene of the seven-story building after the fire began. Greene's dog reportedly died under the bed.

Christina Ricci Exits NBC Pilot 'Girlfriend In A Coma'

(3/19/13) NBC comedy pilot Girlfriend In A Coma will be recasting its lead following the departure of Christina Ricci. I hear Ricci left the project after the table read. She was the first major cast member to board the pilot, which has been a favorite of NBC brass. As part of Ricci’s casting, the pilot was slated to film in New York where she is based. It is unclear whether production will now stay in New York or move to Los Angeles. Written by Liz Brixius based on Douglas Coupland’s book, Girlfriend In A Coma centers on Karen, a woman who was in a coma for many years and unexpectedly wakes up to find she has a 17-year-old daughter, Evie (Miranda Cosgrove). Daniel Stern and Ann Cusack play Karen’s parents, who have been raising Evie. Recastings are an unfortunate but unavoidable part of pilot season when 100 pilots are being cast in the span of a month and a half. Other pilots that have undergone recastings so far this season include ABC’s Keep Calm And Karey On, Mixology and Pulling, Fox’s The List and Gang Related and NBC’s untitled Robert Padnick.

Kelli Garner To Star In Fox's 'Two Wrongs'

(2/25/13) Pan Am alumna Kelli Garner has landed the female lead in Two Wrongs, Fox’s comedy pilot from writer Michelle Morgan, Chernin Entertainment and 20th TV. The relationship comedy centers on Zach and Jenny (Garner), a couple whose friends and family don’t think they are right for each other.

Mike Vogel Joins CBS' Under the Dome

(2/13/13) Mike Vogel has been tapped to star in CBS' Under the Dome, a drama based on Stephen King's 2009 novel, has learned.

The serialized drama, which will be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, is about a small New England town that becomes sealed off from the world by an oversized transparent dome. The show will follow the citizens' struggle to survive as they try to learn more about the dome and how to get rid of it. Vogel will play Barbie, an Army veteran who is in Chester's Mill on a mysterious mission.

Vogel, whose credits include Pan Am, Cloverfield and the upcoming A&E series Bates Motel, joins a cast that includes Britt Robertson, Natalie Martinez, Aisha Hinds, Alex Koch, Colin Ford, Nicholas Strong and Jolene Purdy.

In November, CBS granted a straight-to-series order of 13 episodes of the sci-fi series. Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will helm the first episode. King, Neal Baer, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Stacey Snider join Lost's Brian K. Vaughan, who wrote the adaptation, as executive producers.

Christina Ricci To Topline NBC's 'Girlfriend In A Coma'

(2/8/13) NBC has tapped Christina Ricci and Parker Posey for starring roles in two of its comedy pilots as the network is looking to shake off the recent rough patch with a string of disappointing launches and focus on landing top talent for its next batch of potential series.

Ricci is finalizing a deal to play the lead in Girlfriend In A Coma, which centers on Karen (Ricci), a woman who was in a coma for many years and unexpectedly comes out of the coma to find she has a 17-year-old daughter. Posey is set as the female lead in the untitled DJ Nash comedy, about a son who idolizes his blind father and is bemused by his mother’s (Posey) newfound adolescence who watches his family come closer together post-divorce.

Girlfriend In A Coma is from Universal TV, Nurse Jackie co-creator Liz Brixius Dick Wolf; the DJ Nash project from Nash and exec producer Jason Bateman. Both are single-camera.

Christina Ricci Engaged to Boyfriend James Heerdegen

(2/2/13) Will she wear black to the wedding? The Addams Family alum Christina Ricci confirmed she is engaged to boyfriend James Heerdegen, Us Weekly reports.

Ricci was seen at an event in Los Angeles Friday wearing her engagement ring and said Heerdegen had popped the question "a couple months back."

Ricci, 32, met Heerdegen when he was working as a dolly grip on her short-lived period ABC drama Pan Am. They were first spotted together last February.

Ricci was previously engaged to actor Owen Benjamin in early 2009. She most recently guest-starred on The Good Wife.

We Hear...

(2/2/13) That Christina Ricci hit LA’s the Grove yesterday to debut her collaboration with Make Up For Ever, the “Remix Make Up Bag”.


(1/27/13) Christina Ricci at the Chelsea location of Bocca di Bacco.

'Smurfs 2' trailer: Katy Perry turns naughty Smurfette

(12/21/12) (Trailer) Sony Pictures Animation has put out a new trailer for "The Smurfs 2," which stars Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci, and Sofia Vergara. In the sequel to 2011's "The Smurfs," Gargamel creates the miniature Smurf wannabes, "The Naughties" to infiltrate the land of the blue creatures and turn Smurfette -- Katy Perry reprises her role -- against her own kind.

The Smurfs enlist the help of their human friends to save Smurfette from her own naughtiness, because only she holds the key to converting the Naughties into full-fledged Smurfs.

"The Smurfs 2" hits theaters July 31, 2013.

Leo, Margot looking hot

(12/17/12) Leonardo DiCaprio had been rumored to be getting cozy with his beautiful “Wolf of Wall Street” co-star Margot Robbie, but sources tell us they may be getting more serious. A spy spotted DiCaprio at Robbie’s apartment building in Union Square on Thursday night, and Leo was seen leaving the next morning. “He stayed overnight,” a source told us. We exclusively revealed DiCaprio broke up with Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton at the end of October after a year of dating, just as he was in the throes of shooting “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in which Robbie plays Leo’s love interest. The Australian actress then joined DiCaprio in Las Vegas for his 38th birthday, and a witness at the time told us, “There looks to be some strong chemistry between Leo and his leading lady. They spent a lot of time at the party together.” She was also a guest at his $3 million Champagne-fueled birthday bash at the Darby last month. Robbie’s rep didn’t get back to us. A rep for DiCaprio said, “That didn’t happen. Leo worked late and stayed home.”

Ashley Greene Not Looking to Date: "Boys Kind Of Steal Your Attention Sometimes"

(11/13/12) Ashley Greene is gorgeous, talented, smart and a total class act.

Even so, she's having trouble finding the right guy.

Unfortunately, there are some boys who seem to be more attracted to her fame than anything else.

"It's hard to tell," she told E! News last night at the Breaking Dawn Part 2 premiere at L.A. Live. "I mean, I think I'm definitely a little bit more guarded than I used to be, which is a good and a bad thing because I like to kind of look at things positively and expect the best of people."

And being in Hollywood certainly doesn't help things, she said. "L.A. is hard," Greene said. "L.A. is harder than New York. New Yorkers sometimes are rude, but at least they're straight forward. You kind of know where they stand. There are a lot of different jobs. A lot of different interests. In L.A., it's mostly acting. It's kind of cutthroat out here."

That said, it's not like she's rushing to get into a relationship.

Greene said she's looking forward to pursuing more projects outside the Twilight franchise. "Boys kind of steal your attention sometimes," she said.

Her family and friends are hoping to see more of her, too. "I always get calls from my family like, 'When are you coming home? You forgot about us.' I'm like, 'I swear I didn't. I just don't know what country I am in right now.'"

Ashley Greene fights for acting jobs

(11/2/12) Actress Ashley Greene was so desperate to show her fighting spirit during a movie audition, she punched a hole in the studio wall.

The Twilight star was engrossed in her performance rescuing a make-believe boyfriend for the tryout, but was left red-faced when she put her fist through the wall.

Greene apologised for the blunder and offered to pay for the damage but her feisty attitude paid off - the director immediately hired her for the role.

She tells British GQ magazine, "I was in an audition and the director said, 'Do you remember the scene in the script where you have to fight for your boyfriend's life? I want you to work yourself up and charge across the room like you're running to save him'.

"And after I did it, I couldn't compose myself and I just started crying. And then they asked me to do it again, and I did, and I ended up putting a hole through the wall... I was like, 'I'll totally pay for it! I'm so sorry.' (But I) got the role, so..."

Ashley Greene Misses Breaking Dawn Part 2 Los Angeles Press Conference Due to Hurricane Sandy

(11/1/12) The Breaking Dawn Part 2 press conference is going down right now in Los Angeles, but the Twilight cast is missing one of its biggest stars.

And no, we're not talking about Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart (phew!).

A rep for the movie announced this morning that Ashley Greene will not be taking part in Thursday's Breaking Dawn Part 2 press conference because she is stuck on the East Coast due to Hurricane Sandy.

It was originally annouced that Ashley's costar Peter Facinelli (who plays Carlisle Cullen) was trapped in NYC as well, but Summit Entertainment confirmed that he is now in L.A., although he missed portions of the press conference this morning.

Greene—who plays Alice Cullen in the hit franchise—took to Twitter to share the sad news with her fans:

"Stranded in NYC missing the last Twilight press junket :( Much love to the cast & press there supporting the film - wish I could be there!!" Ashley posted early this morning.

Costar Nikki Reed (who plays Rosalie Hale) also took to Twitter to send well-wishes to her missing Twilight pal:

"@AshleyGreene Oh no! Come be with us when you can!!! You're missed!" Reed wrote in response to Ashley's tweet.

Even though Greene's not present for the final press junket, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and the rest of the Twi-crew are still on hand to answer all those burning BD Part 2 questions.

We'll have tons of juicy tidbits from today's junket, so be sure to check back soon as we get ready to say goodbye to the sensational Twilight Saga (tear!) and count down to the final flick's release (only 15 more days!).

'Twilight' star splits with boyfriend

(10/25/12) Twilght star Ashley Greene has split from her actor boyfriend Reeve Carney, according to a new report.

Greene made her romance with the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark star public last year, but the pair has called it quits after 10 months together.

The actress, who has previously dated Joe Jonas and Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill, recently admitted she finds it hard to make her love life a priority.

The couple's hectic work schedules appear to have got in the way of its budding romance, as a source tells, "They are over... Reeve seems to be fine and it was just crazy with their schedules."

A separate source hinted the split could be only temporary: "She knows this is a pivotal time in her career. I wouldn't say I could never see them getting back together but right now they are doing their own thing."

Check Out Ashley Greene's New Hair Color

(10/23/12) (Photo) She’s not a Cullen anymore!

Ashley Greene debuted a new hair color — a purple-y red hue — while out in New York City on Saturday. The actress, best known for her work in Twilight, had previously been a brunette.

The color comes as a bit of a surprise, considering that six months ago, Greene said she was done over-dyeing her hair. But then again, she hasn’t really stuck by that statement; in August, she hit the bottle, choosing a lighter, sun-kissed shade for the Do Something Awards, and by September, she’d returned to her usual chestnut hue.

Without any movies on the horizon, we’re assuming the actress is using her time off to have a little fun with her hair. And we’ll be excited to see if she keeps it this color for the upcoming Breaking Dawn: Part 2 press tour. Tell us: What do you think of Greene’s new hair color?

Ashley Greene Finds Dating Difficult

(10/15/12) Even vampires need to re-evaluate their love lives. Just ask Twilight star Ashley Greene.

"I'm always here and there – everyone in my industry is – and that's why a lot of relationships are fleeting," the actress, 25, tells Marie Claire in its November cover story, on newsstands Oct. 23.

And while the upcoming Nov. 16 release of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 has put a spotlight on the supernatural franchise's real-life romantic ups and downs between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Greene's own challenge is balancing her career with her personal life.

"I've gotten very good at detaching whenever I have to go away for three months, which I realize is hard on friends and kind of selfish," says the Florida native. "You go on a couple of dates, and then someone ships off to do a movie. It's not like you're going to fly out and see them, because it's not serious enough for that."

But no one can accuse her of being a different Ashley, even while on the celebrity fast track playing Alice Cullen.

"After the movie [Twilight] came out, some people said, 'You changed,' " she says. "And I said, 'I haven't changed, dude. Your opinion of me has changed because I'm working on this film.' Trust me, my parents would let me know."

Christina Ricci Engaged? Actress Shows Off Giant Diamond Ring

(10/12/12) (Photo) Christina Ricci sure looked happy walking through LAX Thursday.

The 32-year-old actress's outfit was cute and casual, but we couldn't help but notice a significant piece of bling on her left ring finger. Her rep has yet to comment on the massive sparkler, but speculation is mounting that it might be an engagement ring!

Ricci is dating James Heerdegen, a dolly grip on Ricci's canceled show Pan Am. The Prozac Nation star was briefly engaged to actor Benjamin Owen in 2009.

If Heerdegen really did put a ring on it, this will be the first trip down the aisle for Ricci.

Denis Leary's USA Pilot Recruits Modern Family and Pan Am Actors

(10/11/12) Pan Am alum Michael Mosley and Modern Family recurring player Kevin Daniels have been cast in Denis Leary's half-hour comedy pilot for USA, the network announced Thursday.

Sirens follows three of Chicago's top EMTs whose occasionally self-loathing, sometimes narcissistic and constantly self-destructive personalities make them poor choices for relationships, friendships and most careers. However, they are great at saving lives.

Mosley will star as Johnny, an attractive, sports-loving EMT who works with his best friend Hank (Daniels). The Vow's Jessica McNamee will play Theresa, a gorgeous and intelligent Chicago cop who still holds a candle for her ex, Johnny, but had to move on when he couldn't commit. Rounding out the cast is Kevin Bigley (Game Change), a wide-eyed and enthusiastic new EMT who still lives at home with his parents and is willing to take on whatever tasks Jonny and Hank give him.

Leary will co-write with Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and both will executive-produce the project with Rescue Me's Jim Serpico, Hal Vogel and David Aukin. Victor Nelli (Happy Endings) will also executive-produce and direct the pilot, set to shoot in Chicago later this month.

Sirens marks one of USA's first half-hour projects. Leary and Serpico are also producing a comedy for their old network, FX, titled Bronx Warrants.

Mosley, who also appeared as Avery's co-captor on 30 Rock last season, will next recur on Last Resort. Daniels recurs on Modern Family as Cam and Mitch's friend Longinus.

Mike Vogel checks in to 'Psycho' prequel 'Bates Motel'

(10/2/12) A&E's "Psycho" prequel series "Bates Motel" has found its law enforcement officers in Nestor Carbonell and Mike Vogel.

Though Carbonell is best known for his role as the ageless Richard Alpert on "Lost" -- which, like "Bates" was executive produced by Carlton Cuse -- both actors were also series regulars on doomed network shows last season. Carbonell played a FBI agent on The CW's Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle "Ringer" and Vogel was a pilot on period drama "Pan Am."

Their "Bates Motel" characters sound a little more twisted: Carbonell takes on the role of "sinister" Sheriff Royce Romero, while Vogel is "sociopathic" Deputy Zach Shelby.

They join a cast that already includes Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga as the mysterious Norma Bates, Freddie Highmore as her teenage son Norman, Max Thieriot as Norman's older brother Dylan and Nicola Peltz and Olivia Cooke as two of Norman's classmates. The 10 episode first season is expected to launch on A&E early next year.

Ashley Greene Stuns in LBD at DKNY Fashion Show, Admits to "Lots of Fashion Blunders"

(9/10/12) Ashley Greene is one of the chicest actresses we know, but the Breaking Dawn star admits she's had her fair share of fashion mishaps.

"I think I've had a lot of blunders!" Greene, looking radiant in a little black dress, told E! News laughingly at the DKNY show Sunday during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC. "I had to really become comfortable in fashion and find myself. So before that happened, I didn't always dress for myself."

The brunette beauty, now the face of Donna Karan's DKNY collection, said she used to "pay attention to trends and wore things that didn't necessarily flatter me." But finding her own style has been "a process," she said, and she's "had to learn what looks good on me and what I'm comfortable in."

"You look back a couple years and there's a lot of things that I'm like, 'Oh, no! Why did I do that?!'" she said. "But I'm glad I'm here now."

Here certainly looks great to us. We're looking forward to seeing more of Greene's polished red carpet looks as she promotes the final Twilight film this fall.

Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner circle "Horns"

(9/7/12) Juno Temple, Joe Anderson and Kelli Garner are in negotiations to join the supernatural fantasy/thriller "Horns," Red Granite Pictures announced on Friday in Toronto.

The trio will join lead Daniel Radcliffe and Max Minghella, who is also negotiating for a role.

"Horns" is being co-produced and financed by Riza Aziz' and Joey McFarland's Los Angeles-based film production, finance and international sales company Red Granite Pictures.

Red Granite will co-produce the film with Mandalay Pictures. Red Granite Pictures' international sales arm (Red Granite International), led by Danny Dimbort and Christian Mercuri, is handling foreign sales for the film and will begin discussions with international buyers in Toronto this week.

Based on the best-selling novel by Joe Hill, "Horns" is being directed by Alexandre Aja ("The Hills Have Eyes," "Piranha 3D," "High Tension") from an adapted screenplay by Keith Bunin ("In Treatment").

The producers are Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland and Mandalay Pictures President Cathy Schulman. Joe Hill and Red Granite's Joe Gatta are executive producers.

This rock-and-roll-infused dark fantasy explores why bad things happen to good people and what the loss of true love can do to a man. The film is based on the New York Times best seller.

Principal photography is slated to begin this fall.

Christina Ricci Lands at The Good Wife for "Controversial" Guest Spot

(9/5/12) Pan Am star Christina Ricci has landed at The Good Wife as Lockhart/Gardner's latest client.

Ricci, 32, will guest-star in an upcoming episode as a controversial comedienne in need of the firm's help.

Ricci joins an impressive roster of guest stars for the legal drama's upcoming fourth season, including Kristin Chenoweth, Nathan Lane, Amanda Peet, Maura Tierney, Marc Warren, Miriam Shor and Annabella Sciorra.

In addition to starring on ABC's Pan Am last season, Ricci is known for her film work, including Mermaids, The Addams Family, Now and Then and Sleepy Hollow. She also earned an Emmy nomination in 2006 for her guest-starring role in the post-Super Bowl episode of Grey's Anatomy.

The new season of The Good Wife premieres on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c on CBS.

Michael Mosley Heads to ABC's Last Resort

(8/17/12) Pan Am alum Michael Mosley has joined the cast of ABC's upcoming submarine thriller Last Resort, has learned exclusively.

Last Resort follows a renegade crew of a nuclear submarine, led by Men of a Certain Age's Andre Braugher, who goes on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. They find sanctuary at a NATO base, where they declare themselves the world's smallest nuclear nation.

Signed on as a recurring guest star, Mosley will play Chief Engineer Anders, one of the crew aboard the U.S.S. Colorado who is put under pressure when Marcus (Braugher) orders him to turn on a prototype cloaking device named Perseus.

Mosley, whose other credits include 30 Rock, Justified and Scrubs, will appear in at least two episodes of Last Resort, which also stars Autumn Reeser and Scott Speedman.

From The Shield's Shawn Ryan, the ABC drama premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c.

2012 Emmy Awards Nominations

(7/19/12) The awards will air live Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Pan Am

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
The Borgias
Downton Abbey
Pan Am
30 Rock

Outstanding Special Visual Effects
Falling Skies
Game Of Thrones
Inside The Human Body
Once Upon A Time
Pan Am
The Walking Dead

Ashley Greene Talks Edgy, Real-Life CBGB Role: "I Haven't Played Someone That Tough Yet!"

(6/21/12) Ashley Greene is well aware that the stakes are high when you portray a real, living person on the big screen (as opposed to the undead, like her Twilight character Alice Cullen).

The 25-year-old actress stars as Lisa Kristal in the upcoming CBGB, a film about New York City's iconic nightclub. Greene plays the fiery daughter of Hilly Kristal, the man who owned the institution that was so influential in the punk scene from 1973 until its closing in 2005.

"It's a little nerve-racking to play someone who existed, who's a real person that's still alive," Greene told E! News at the Samsung Galaxy SIII launch Wednesday night at Skylight Studios New York. "You're like, 'Oh, they can yell at me if I do a bad job!' But it's going to be cool to get to talk to her about it and [learn about] personal experiences from her."

And Greene is doing her due diligence when it comes to preparing for the role...

"I get to Skype with [Lisa Kristal] on Sunday!" she gushed. "I'm really excited about that...She's kind of amazing."

"It's going to be a fun adventure for me because I haven't really played someone who is that tough yet," Greene explained. "I want to make sure I get it right without making her—she's not a bitch! She's just very...she's a New Yorker. They have a specific personality and air about them. They're survivors."

Greene said that the character she plays had a "tough-love" relationship with her father, who "had a great ear for music and talent...but wasn't necessarily the best at running a business." It was Lisa who was "the one that comes in and says, 'OK, you have to actually run a company. You need to charge people money when you say you're going to'...She is smart, driven and very tough."

And of course, as excited as she is about her upcoming role, she's going to miss her Twilight days.

"It is very comfortable and familiar," she said. "On any other film, there's nerves—it's like going to school the first day. You don't know what's going to happen, but it's nice [with the Twilight films]—you can go and you're comfortable with the people and your character. You really kind of just let go and play."

"I feel like I knew Alice inside and out," she added with a smile. "I'm going to miss that. Playing Alice was a very positive time in my life...There's no negativity [with her]. She's a very sweet, very positive, good-natured vampire."

'Pan Am' Canceled: ABC Series Officially Grounded

(6/20/12) "Pan Am" is officially dead. Sony was attempting to get "Pan Am" a new home after ABC canceled the low-rated series, but the revival failed to take off.

In a letter to World Wings International, a non-profit organization of former Pan Am flight attendants, Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am flight attendant and executive producer on the ABC series, made the announcement.

"After ABC cancelled the show, there was a gallant effort by the team at Sony to resurrect the series through various other venues," Ganis said in the Facebook post. "Unfortunately for those who enjoyed the episodes or the promise of what it could or should have been, the 'Pan Am' series officially ended this past weekend."

Rumors swirled that Amazon could pick up the series for its streaming service, but a deal never came together. According to Ganis, all the contracts of the cast and crew have expired. The series took off to solid ratings for ABC with more than 11 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic. However, the show quickly hit ratings turbulence and the series finale in February 2012 had an audience of 3.8 million viewers and a 1.2 rating.

"I will be forever grateful for all of the support (and criticism), the chance to reconnect with friends and make new acquaintances, and the opportunity to relive the memories through retelling our stories," Ganis wrote. "Many of you contributed those stories and we lovingly turned them over to the writers only to be sadly disappointed with the outcome. Knowing what 'might or should have been' was heartbreaking and to those who felt disappointed, I am deeply sorry. For those who just had fun with the crazy process, I thank you for hanging in."

Ashley Greene Has No Hollywood Regrets

(6/15/12) Ashley Greene's path through Hollywood hasn't been without its rocky roads, but the Breaking Dawn star knows how to turn negatives into positives.

"I don't [have regrets]," the actress, 25, told PEOPLE on Thursday at the Bing-sponsored Young Hollywood Awards. "Things have happened that have been unfortunate at times, but I feel like it's really how you take that experience and learn from it and grow from it. Everyone has ups and downs. I try not to regret."

Greene, who hosted the show at the Hollywood Athletic Club, says, "Keep calm and carry on," is her motto for surviving the roller coaster ride of her career environment.

"I feel like when I was first kind of thrown into this industry and this whole world, it was a little overwhelming, and everything seemed like the end of the world sometimes," she said. "You're focused on every little thing, good and bad."

Of her lessons learned, Greene says simply, "You kind of just have to ignore a lot of things and focus on your job and what makes you happy."

'Pan Am': Show may move to Amazon

(5/23/12) While "Pan Am" is now officially done at ABC, the show may take off again on the Internet.

Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures TV, the studio behind the period drama, has spoken with Amazon about picking up the series for its slate of original programming. The publication also reiterates what they recently reported, that Sony continues to explore other avenues, including cable, to revive the show.

While it never caught on in the U.S., "Pan Am" has done very well overseas. In fact, it recently won "Best Series" at the Rose d'Or TV awards, Europe's equivalent of the Emmys. And Sony would certainly like to capitalize on that interest. Amazon makes at least some sense because the site already offers episodes of the show's first season. That said, it doesn't exactly overlap with their previously-announced plans to focus on developing comedy and children's programming.

If "Pan Am" sees a second life on the Internet, it wouldn't be the only canceled show to make a comeback online. Netflix is already in the process of bringing back "Arrested Development" on the streaming site.

Ashley Greene's Giggly Girls Night

(5/18/12) Ashley Greene recently did some wining and dining with her gal pals at New York City hotspot Asellina.

Sipping on wine and munching on ravioli and tiramisu, Greene and her girls stayed for about two-and-a-half hours.

"Ashley seemed like she was in a great mood," an onlooker tells PEOPLE. "She was giggling with her girlfriends."

ABC Cancels GCB, Pan Am, The River and Missing

(5/12/12) ABC's Pan Am has finally been officially grounded.

On the heels of ordering nine new series Friday, the Alphabet officially canceled the high-flying 1960s soap after pulling it off the schedule in February after airing only 14 episodes.

In addition to axing Pan Am, ABC also canceled freshman series GCB, The River and Missing, according to GCB, starring Leslie Bibb and Kristin Chenoweth, was touted as the heir to the Desperate Housewives throne, but was only able to attract an average of 5.9 million viewers and a 1.9 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic.

Likewise, serialized dramas The River, a horror thriller produced by Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli, and Missing, starring Ashley Judd as an ex-CIA agent searching for her son, pulled in weak audiences of 4.7 million viewers and 7.9 million viewers, respectively and were among ABC's lowest-rated dramas.

'Pan Am': Does the show have a cable future?

(5/11/12) Could it be that the crew of "Pan Am" will fly again?

Deadline is reporting that the period drama, which will more than likely not be renewed by ABC, may have a future on cable. The show, which stars Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Michael Mosley, is much more popular in Europe than it ever was in the U.S. It is this that may lead Sony TV, the program's producer, to look for alternate venues for the series.

As a sign of further popularity overseas, on Thursday (May 10) "Pan Am" was named "Best Series" at the Rose d'Or TV awards, Europe's equivalent of the Emmys. It beat out British programs "Martina Cole's the Runaway" and "The Jury."

Would you be interested in seeing "Pan Am" return? Or should the show stay grounded?

Ashley Greene Recalls Her Worst Hair Mishaps

(4/19/12) Sure she looks gorgeous on a daily basis now, but Ashley Greene (Amanda, Pan Am) didn’t always know how to best take care of her skin and hair.

“I think the biggest mistake I ever made was when one of my friends was like, ‘You should just iron your hair with an iron,’” she tells Stylelist. Needless to say, “It was not good at all. It was just stick-straight. I was probably around 14 when I did that; I did a lot of dumb things at 14.”

She’s also moved past over-dying — “My hair’s been every color under the sun,” she admits — and over-scrunching, too. “I used entirely too much hair gel,” she says. “It was highly flammable, extremely crunchy. I feel like you could break it. It was not a good look for me.”

These days, though, the Twilight star is feeling more comfortable in her own skin, and encouraging others to find that confidence, too. “I don’t know that I’ve ever met someone who hasn’t had some type of insecure moment or stage,” she shares. But “I understand that a lot of things aren’t the end of the world. There were certain things I was very insecure about, but I’m constantly going out there trying to make girls feel like they are special, and I think it rubs off on me.”

So what is the starlet most looking forward to these days? Strangely enough, her answer is aging. “My mom said she loved her 30s, she was most comfortable in her 30s,” the actress explains. “So I’m looking forward to that. A lot of it’s you live, you learn, you grow.”

Report: ABC Close to Renewing Grey's, Revenge, Once, Castle and More

(3/23/12) ABC is close to renewing nine shows for next season, TVLine reports.

According to the site, the shortlist includes Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family, Castle, Happy Endings, The Middle, and freshmen hits Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Suburgatory and Last Man Standing. ABC is also still negotiating with original Grey's cast members Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Justin Chambers, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson, whose contracts are up this year.

A rep for the network could not confirm the report.

The fates of Cougar Town, Private Practice, GCB and Missing have yet to be determined, the site says. Private Practice's future may depend on how well Shonda Rhimes' upcoming show, Scandal, performs in Practice's timeslot. The show premieres Thursday, April 5 at 10/9c.

On the flip side, Body of Proof, Pan Am and The River, which aired its finale this week, are unlikely to return. As previously reported, The River could possibly continue on Netflix.

'Pan Am' Actress Cast in ABC Pilot 'Scruples'

(3/2/12) Pan Am’s Karinne Vanasse has a new role at ABC.

The actress has been tapped to guest star as an designer named Valentine in the drama pilot Scruples, with an option to become a regular if the show based on the best-selling 1978 book goes to series.

Scruples, which centers on a rich and powerful clothes designer in a world of sex, revenge and scandal, hails from Flame Ventures in association with Warner Bros. TV.

Bob Brush and Mel Harris will pen the pilot as well as executive produce alongside Tony Krantz, Annette Savitch and Natalie Portman. Michael Sucsy is on board to direct the pilot.

The news comes as Pan Am has seen its ratings nosedive on ABC. In fact, it was Vanasse, who plays a French flight attendant in the heavily hyped airline drama, who caused a stir about the show's status when she prematurely tweeted: "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!"

Although the series has not been canceled, the likelihood of a second season is grim. Still, Vanasse’s Scruples casting is in second position to her role on Pan Am.

Vanasse is repped by WME.

'Pan Am's' Karine Vanasse Among Latest Broadcast Pilots Additions

(3/2/12) Pan Am co-star Karine Vanasse is set to co-star in a new ABC drama project. The Quebec-born actress has been cast in the drama pilot Scruples. Executive produced by Tony Krantz and Natalie Portman, the project is based on the novel by Judith Krantz and centers on rich and powerful clothing designer Billy Winthrop in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. Vanasse will play Valentine, a talented aspiring fashion designer who recently arrived in New York from Paris. The casting is in second position to Pan Am, which is not expected to return next season. Michael Sucsy (The Vow) is directing Scruples from a script by Bob Brush. Warner Bros. TV is producing. Vanasse is the second Pan Am cast member to book a pilot in second position this season, along with male lead Mike Vogel who would star in the Fox comedy Living Loaded.

Pilot Season: Ashley Greene Joins ABC's Americana

(2/29/12) Ashley Greene has won a starring role on Americana.

The ABC soap is set around the family business of iconic fashion designer Robert Soulter, played by Anthony LaPaglia. Greene will play Alice Clarke, a young designer who joins the design label. Already cast on the project are Emilie de Ravin, who will play Soutler's daughter, and Brothers & Sisters alum Ken Olin.

Greene, most famous for her role in the Twilight film franchise, recently recurred on ABC's Pan Am.

'Pan Am': What Season 2, if there is one, might look like

(2/20/12) The season (and more than likely series) finale of "Pan Am" aired on Sunday (Feb. 19). It offered some pretty good twists and turns as the group enjoyed the waning hours of 1963.

But if Sunday's show was its last, fans of the program are no doubt wondering what might have happened to their favorite flight crew down the road. That's where we come in.

Having watched every episode of the period drama and a decent amount of TV in general, we at Zap2it have come up with some ideas as to what the future would have held for "Pan Am."

Tell us what you think...

Laura and Ted: Ted (Michael Mosley) decided to call off his wedding with Amanda (Ashley Greene) and instead profess his love for Laura (Margot Robbie). This message was sealed with a kiss and then another kiss. So everything looked to be going great for the two. But like in any TV show, there's always a wrinkle. This takes the form of Amanda announcing that she's pregnant.

In Season 2 of "Pan Am," we suspect that Ted will quickly break this news to Laura, and the two will have to go their separate ways. At some point next season, Amanda will have a miscarriage. This, combined with their pretty much loveless relationship, will cause Ted to break up with Amanda. He will then attempt to get back together with Laura. But by then, the blond beauty will have found someone new.

Dean and Colette: In the finale, Dean (Mike Vogel) vowed he would help Colette *(Karine Vanasse) find her long-lost brother. While he'll attempt to make good on the effort, it won't be easy. Dean sees it as more of a way to get close to the woman he loves, often times to the detriment of the objective. Colette, on the other hand, is singularly focused on finding her brother and learning more about her own history. The more she learns, the more troubled she becomes. This proves to be the undoing of their least for now.

Maggie: Drawn in by the fun of quick riches, she continues her smuggling operation. But all good things must come to an end and she gets nailed at U.S. Customs. With her back against the wall, Maggie (Christina Ricci) strikes a deal to work as a snitch. It is here that she'll work to root out organized crime. Her responsibilities grow and, before you know it, she's essentially a female version of Donnie Brasco. Will her undercover ways ever cross paths with Kate?

Kate: The CIA trainee decides to take a momentary leave from Pan Am while she goes to Langley to become a full-on operative. By the end of her training, she's a crack shot, fluent in four languages and an expert in counter-intelligence. The majority of her efforts will focus on East Germany. Kate (Kelli Garner) will also be called upon to help explore Eastern Block organized crime operations with ties to the U.S.

So what would you like to see happen if there is a Season 2 of "Pan Am."

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012

(2/20/12) CBS posted another solid Sunday evening, bolstered by premiere of the new cycle of "The Amazing Race" and the always strong performances of "The Good Wife" and "CSI: Miami." ABC's "Once Upon a Time" posted impressive numbers, easily winning the 18-49 demo with a 3.0. And the much-hyped 500th episode of "The Simpsons" got a nice little bump, pulling in 5.8 million total viewers.

CBS led the evening in total viewership, averaging 10.5 million and a 6.5 rating/10 share in households. ABC (7.3 million, 4.3/7) finished second. NBC came in third with 6.3 million viewers and a 3.7/6, while FOX (4.1 million, 2.3/4) brought up the rear.

CBS just barely won the 18-49 demographic with a 2.2 rating. ABC and NBC tied at 2.1 and FOX trailed at 1.9.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.
CBS: Northern Trust Open overrun/"60 Minutes" (11.5 million, 7.3/12)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (8.0 million, 4.5/8)
NBC: "The Voice" (R) (4.2 million viewers, 2.6/4 households)
FOX: "Bob's Burgers" (R) (1.8 million, 1.1/2)/"The Cleveland Show" (2.6 million, 1.6/3)
18-49 leader: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (2.0)

8 p.m.
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (10.8 million, 6.4/10)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (9.7 million, 5.5/9)
NBC: "The Voice" (R) (6.1 million, 3.5/6)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (5.8 million, 3.1/5)/"Napoleon Dynamite" (4.4 million, 2.4/4)
18-49 leader: "Once Upon a Time" (3.0)

9 p.m.
CBS: "The Good Wife" (9.7 million, 6.0/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (7.5 million, 4.8/7)
NBC: "Celebrity Apprentice" (7.1 million, 4.2/6)
FOX: "Family Guy" (5.4 million, 3.1/5)/"American Dad" (4.4 million, 2.5/4)
18-49 leader: "Celebrity Apprentice" (2.5)

10 p.m.
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (9.98 million, 6.5/11)
NBC: "Celebrity Apprentice" (7.7 million, 4.5/7)
ABC: "Pan Am" (3.9 million, 2.5/4)
18-49 leader: "Celebrity Apprentice" (2.8)

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

(2/13/12) The Grammy Awards scored their biggest audience in almost 30 years on Sunday, drawing a whopping 41.2 million viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. ET/PT. (CBS says the full awards, which ran until 11:30 p.m., drew more than 39 million people.) The show grew by more than 50 percent over last year and scored the second biggest audience since total-viewer counts started being kept in the late 1970s.

With that big an audience, CBS obviously dominated Sunday's ratings, and everything else suffered as a result -- although "Once Upon a Time" didn't fare too badly for ABC.

CBS delivered 34.5 million viewers and a 19.1 rating/29 share in households in primetime, more than doubling the combined total for the other three networks. ABC was the best of the rest with 6.35 million viewers and a 3.8/6. NBC (5.25 million, 3.3/5) finished third, and FOX (3.55 million, 2.1/3) came in fourth.

The Eye also ruled the adults 18-49 demographic with an 11.5 rating. ABC took second with a 1.9, followed by FOX, 1.7, and NBC, 1.5.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
CBS: "60 Minutes" (14.55 million viewers, 9.1/15 households)
NBC: "Dateline" (8.35 million, 5.4/9)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7.6 million, 4.3/7)
FOX: "Bob's Burgers" rerun (1.9 million, 1.2/2)/"The Cleveland Show" (2.7 million, 1.6/2)
18-49 leader: "60 Minutes" (2.9)

8 p.m.
CBS: 54th annual Grammy Awards (40.7 million, 22.1/32)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (8.6 million, 5.0/7)
NBC: "Dateline" (5.2 million, 3.4/5)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (4.3 million, 2.5/4)/"Napoleon Dynamite" (3.8 million, 2.2/3)
18-49 leader: Grammy Awards (13.8)

9 p.m.
CBS: 54th annual Grammy Awards (42.6 million, 22.8/33)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (6.35 million, 4.0/6)
FOX: "Family Guy" (5 million, 2.1/3)/"American Dad" (3.5 million, 2.1/3)
NBC: "Fear Factor" (3.3 million, 2.0/3)
18-49 leader: Grammy Awards (14.9)

10 p.m.
CBS: 54th annual Grammy Awards (40.2 million, 22.3/34)
NBC: "Fear Factor" (4.1 million, 2.5/4)
ABC: "Pan Am" (2.7 million, 1.9/3)
18-49 leader: Grammy Awards (14.6)

Pilot Season: Pan Am's Mike Vogel Signs On to Fox's Living Loaded

(2/11/12) Pan Am star Mike Vogel has landed the lead in Fox's comedy pilot Living Loaded, Deadline reports.

From It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney and based on the book of the same name by Dan Dunn, the project follows a hard-partying blogger (Vogel) who is forced to reevaluate his career plan when he gets a new job as a public radio host.

McElhenney, Dunn and executive producer Rob Rosell wrote the script.

Mike Vogel - SAG Winner

(1/30/12) Congratulations to Mike Vogel for his win as part of the cast of "The Help", the winner of oustanding performance by a cast in a motion picture at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 29, 2012.

Bubbly on ice

(1/27/12) There was Olympic-level competition at the Standard Hotel Midwinter Night’s Skate party Wednesday, where guests sipped Veuve Clicquot Champagne before taking to the hotel’s ice rink. Professional skaters Johnny Weir and Sasha Cohen first put on a choreographed performance for guests including Amy Sacco, Monique Pean, Peter Davis, Douglas Hannant, Frederick Anderson and Lorenzo Martone. But then, spies tell us, model Coco Rocha glided with grace across the ice with her mother Juanita, followed by “Pan Am” actress Margot Robbie, who impressed the crowd, performing tricks and twirls on the ice for an hour.

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2011

(1/23/12) The NFC Championship game scored a massive audience for FOX on Sunday, but we'll have to wait and see how many people stuck around for a special "American Idol" afterward: The overtime contest and post-game report pushed "Idol" out of primetime in most of the country.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. ET: FOX says the post-football "Idol" broadcast, which began at 10:57 p.m. ET, drew 19.8 million viewers and a 7.9 rating among adults 18-49. The demo number beat the show's Wednesday and Thursday airings last week.

Elsewhere, ABC's lineup was relatively steady with last week, falling by only a small amount against the huge NFL game, while CBS' "Undercover Boss" took a somewhat bigger hit in its second week.

FOX's numbers will change some because of its live NFL telecast, but as it stands now the network averaged about 50.1 million viewers and a 26.9 rating/39 share in households Sunday. CBS was the best of the rest in viewers, drawing 7.2 million and a 4.8/7. ABC (6.45 million, 4.0/6) came in third, and NBC (4.6 million, 3.1/4) trailed.

FOX scored an 18.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the highest number (by a lot) for any network this season. ABC finished with a 2.0, followed by CBS, 1.6, and NBC, 0.9.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
FOX: NFC Championship - Giants-49ers (55.9 million viewers, 29.2/43 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (7.9 million, 5.3/8)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (5.2 million, 2.9/4)
NBC: "Dateline" (4.35 million, 3.1/5)
18-49 leader: NFC Championship (20.5)

8 p.m.
FOX: NFC Championship (48.9 million, 26.1/37)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (9.3 million, 5.4/8)
CBS: "Undercover Boss" (9.2 million, 5.8/8)
NBC: "Dateline" (6 million, 4.1/6)
18-49 leader: NFC Championship (18.0)

9 p.m.
FOX: NFC Championship (51.1 million, 27.8/38)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (7.5 million, 4.9/7)
CBS: "The Good Wife" rerun (5.6 million, 3.9/5)
NBC: "Prime Suspect" (4.3 million, 2.7/4)
18-49 leader: NFC Championship (19.3)

10 p.m.
FOX: NFC Championship/post-game (44.4 million, 24.4/37)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" rerun (6.2 million, 4.3/7)
ABC: "Pan Am" (3.9 million, 2.7/4)
NBC: "Prime Suspect" (3.6 million, 2.4/4)
18-49 leader: NFC Championship (17.2)

'Pan Am' sneak peek: Laura's nude pics come back to haunt her

(1/20/12) Photography has helped Laura (Margot Robbie) from the beginning on "Pan Am." It was her striking pictures early in the series that landed her on the cover of LIFE magazine. But it appears that her love for being in front of the camera will soon get her in trouble.

In an exclusive first look at Sunday's (Jan. 22) episode, those nude photos Laura referred to any number of episodes ago come back to haunt her when they're displayed at an art gallery. While the pictures are quite lovely, Laura never thought they'd go public. So when she sees the entire collection up, Laura delivers the response you'd expect - abject terror.

As for other story lines, Colette (Karine Vanasse) looks to get over Dean (Mike Vogel) by befriending a mysterious male passenger. Maggie (Christina Ricci), never one to be shy about her opinions, tells Ted (Michael Mosley) she has concerns about his relationship with Amanda (Ashley Greene).

The series airs at 10 p.m. ET.

Here's the clip... Video.

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012

(1/16/12) Ratings for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards were down a little bit from last year, dipping by a couple hundred thousand viewers from the 2011 ceremony. NBC came in second for the night to FOX, which rode a huge audience for the end of its NFL playoff game to victory.

The big lead-in gave "The Simpsons" its biggest audience of the season and helped "Napoleon Dynamite" score solid numbers for its premiere -- although the show's second episode later in te night didn't fare quite as well. "Undercover Boss" also opened to decent numbers for CBS.

Thanks to the Giants-Packers game carrying into primetime, FOX scored 20.2 million viewers and an 11.1 rating/17 share for the night, beating out NBC (12.3 million, 7.5/1). Numbers for both networks are subject to revision because of their live telecasts. CBS took third for the evening with 9.2 million viewers and a 5.8/9, while ABC (6.7 million, 4.0/6) trailed.

FOX also dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with an 8.0 rating. NBC finished second with a 3.6, followed by ABC, 2.1, and CBS, 2.0.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun - Giants-Packers (40.1 million viewers, 22.0/34 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (8.7 million, 5.7/9)
NBC: Golden Globes red-carpet special (7.35 million, 4.6/7)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (5.1 million, 2.9/5)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun (14.3)

8 p.m.
NBC: Golden Globe Awards (14.3 million, 8.6/13)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (15.7 million, 8.8/13)/"Napoleon Dynamite" series premiere (9.5 million, 5.2/8)
CBS: "Undercover Boss" season premiere (11.6 million, 7.0/10)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (9.8 million, 5.5/8)
18-49 leader: "The Simpsons" (6.8)

9 p.m.
NBC: Golden Globe Awards (13.55 million, 8.2/12)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (9.3 million, 5.9/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (7.8 million, 4.9/7)
FOX: "Family Guy" (8.5 million, 4.9/7)/"Napoleon Dynamite" (7.15 million, 4.1/6)
18-49 leader: "Family Guy" (4.4)

10 p.m.
NBC: Golden Globe Awards (14.15 million, 8.8/14)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" rerun (7.1 million, 4.6/7)
ABC: "Pan Am" (3.9 million, 2.6/4)
18-49 leader: Golden Globe Awards (4.2)

'Pan Am' preview: Is Maggie sleeping with the enemy?

(1/13/12) As the saying goes, politics makes for strange bedfellows. Or in the cast of Maggie (Christina Ricci) and Congressman Rawlings (Chris Beetem) on "Pan Am," bedfellows make for strange politics.

During the Jan. 8 episode of the period drama, the more than opinionated Maggie submitted an anonymous editorial to the Village Voice railing against the representative's hypocrisy. But after a pleasant lunch with Rawlings, Maggie fell for him. Of course there's still the lingering issue of that article.

On Sunday's (Jan. 15) show, Rawlings is none too pleased after reading the piece that calls him out on his double standards. He says, "I don't appreciate sources with 'inside knowledge' conspiring with the enemy," not realizing the "enemy" is right in front of him. Maggie is now focused on steering him in any direction that doesn't point toward her.

In other "Pan Am" news, Kate (Kelli Garner) tries to help out a couple of stewardesses mistaken for spies. And Dean (Mike Vogel) is chosen for an important flight, but then is replaced at the last minute. This is certain to make him unhappy.

Here's an exclusive first-look preview. The episode airs Jan. 15 at 10 p.m. ET.

Will Grey's Anatomy, Cougar Town and Pan Am Survive? ABC's Big Boss Tackles Tough Q's

(1/11/12) Cougar Town fans, the wait is over. Or wait, no, sorry, it's actually not at all.

At today's ABC press tour today, ABC President Paul Lee answered the tough question of when Cougar Town is coming back, and why the comedy Work It (which was bashed by critics and viewers alike) made it on the air instead. Reporters also asked Lee about the fate of dramas Grey's Anatomy and Pan Am...

"Well, certainly we don't have any comments about those contracts," Lee says of the Grey's cast negotiations for a season nine. "Grey's came roaring back, it's creatively still at the top of its form. Shonda Rhimes has a vision like nobody else. We've heard her vision for this season and beyond, and I'm feeling really good about the show."

As for Cougar Town, which has yet to air new episodes this season, sources tell us Lee had planned to announce a return date during today's press tour, but die-hard fans will have to sit it out a bit longer.

"We're not quite ready [to announce a return date]," Lee says. "But you'll be hearing in the next couple weeks...The reality is I think Cougar Town is having some of their best episodes. I think when we launch it we'll bring a big strong message that we love the show. We haven't yet landed where it's going to go. It's tentatively slated for March. It's in there for a good reason."

When asked if Cougar Town's delayed return is indicative of a move away from single-camera comedy (in favor of shows like Tim Allen's Last Man Standing), Lee insists, "Quite the opposite. The core of our comedy offering is our Wednesday night, it's something we're extremely proud of...This may be a bit of a dream but it if you look at Happy Endings, Cougar Town and Apartment 23, it'd be great to have a bunch of young irreverent comedies together. That's a little bit of a dream for the future."

So what about Pan Am? It may or may not be a dream for the future as well. "When it opened, it really brought a good audience to it," Lee says. "I think there's a lot of goodwill toward the show. It's a great cast. We have new and original shows right through the end of February and it'll be in contention past that. "

And how's this for a little tidbit to make you go hmmm, Revenge fans? When asked if it's still a possibility that Revenge may move locations away from the Hamptons, Lee says: "I don't want to give anything away about a show that people are on the edge of their seats for, but yes, it is in the cards."

American Horror Story-Revenge crossover next season, anyone? Maybe they can be neighbors in...Tallahassee?

Oh, and in the "yeah-duh" category, Dancing With the Stars is totally not getting the boot anytime soon. "Dancing With the Stars has many more years to come. It's all about the casting, and that's how you keep it alive," Lee says.

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012

(1/9/12) An overtime NFL playoff game on CBS delivered a huge audience early Sunday night and led the network to a big ratings win. Elsewhere, "The Firm" had a pretty soft start for NBC, particularly in the adults 18-49 demographic, while "Once Upon a Time" returned to ABC with improved numbers compared to its last couple episodes of the fall.

Thanks to the Steelers-Broncos game running past 8 p.m. ET, CBS delivered 22.6 million viewers and a 13.2 rating/20 share in households for the night (those numbers will change some because of the live NFL telecast). ABC (7.2 million, 4.4/7) finished a distant second. NBC took third overall with 6.25 million viewers and a 4.1/6, while FOX (4 million, 2.3/3) trailed.

CBS also dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 7.1 rating. ABC came in second with a 2.3, followed by FOX at 1.9. NBC averaged a 1.3 in the demo.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.
CBS: AFC wild-card game - Steelers/Broncos (41.9 million viewers, 23.3/35 households)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (5.8 million, 3.4/5)
NBC: "Dateline" (5 million, 3.5/5)
FOX: "Bob's Burgers" rerun (1.8 million, 1.1/2)/"The Cleveland Show" rerun (2.3 million, 1.3/2)
18-49 leader: AFC wild-card game (14.8)

8 p.m.
CBS: NFL overrun/"60 Minutes" (25.2 million, 14.5/21)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (10.3 million, 5.9/9)
NBC: "Dateline" (7.4 million, 5.1/7)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (5.1 million, 2.7/4)/"The Cleveland Show" (4.4 million, 2.5/4)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"60 Minutes" (7.9)

9 p.m.
CBS: "60 Minutes"/"The Good Wife" (12.7 million, 8.1/12)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (8.8 million, 5.6/8)
NBC: "The Firm" series premiere (6.8 million, 4.2/6)
FOX: "Family Guy" (6 million, 3.6/5)/"American Dad" (4.6 million, 2.8/4)
18-49 leader: "Desperate Housewives" and "60 Minutes"/"The Good Wife" tied at 3.0

10 p.m.
CBS: "The Good Wife"/"CSI: Miami" (10.8 million, 6.9/11)
NBC: "The Firm" (5.8 million, 3.7/6)
ABC: "Pan Am" (4 million, 2.7/4)
18-49 leader: "The Good Wife"/"CSI: Miami" (2.7)

Karine Vanasse explains Twittergate, Colette's relationship woes

(1/8/12) Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can serve as a great way for celebrities to connect with their fans. But every once in a while it can get these same celebs in trouble. Just ask Karine Vanasse from the ABC series "Pan Am."

The actress, who plays Colette on the period drama, had a bit of a gaffe with Twitter in late Nov. 2011. At that time she wrote, "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!" This set off massive confusion from show fans and brought on denials from ABC execs who said the show wasn't canceled.

Vanasse explains the whole thing was a misunderstanding. "I Tweeted something that wasn't really clear, that could be if I said the show was canceled."

She adds, "I couldn't correct my Tweet saying 'No, no, no. That's not what I meant. I meant that we will come back to shoot one more episode after Christmas, but we will have episodes airing until February.' I couldn't correct it fast enough."

Vanasse explains that while the whole thing was a nerve-wracking experience, she took heart in how passionate fans of the show are.

Another thing that "Pan Am" fans are passionate about is Colette's relationship with Dean (Mike Vogel). And for that, Vanasse has an update that viewers might not want to hear. Bridget (Annabelle Wallis) is back.

The spy who quietly exited Dean's life early in the series makes her return on Sunday (Jan. 8). This presents all sorts of problems for the budding romance between Colette and Dean.

Vanasse says of Bridget's return, "It's really a confusing return for Dean since he didn't know anything [about] why she's a confusing moment for everybody."

Bridget's return is also problematic for Colette's fragile psyche. "She seems to be really strong, but on certain levels, she's not that strong," Vanasse says of her character. "I hope that we'll see her unite these two sides of her, the really optimistic one and then the hurt one."

That road to recovery begins Sunday (Jan. 8) at 10 p.m. ET.

Zap2it's 'Pan Am' Twitter giveaway: Win a Pan Am t-shirt!

(1/8/12) Attention "Pan Am" We know you've been waiting for the show to make its return after the mini-cliffhanger when Dean (Mike Vogel) and Colette (Karine Vanasse) consummated their relationship. Oh and there's also that whole Kate (Kelli Garner) shooting thing. But it's back. And thanks to our friends at ABC, we'd like to help you celebrate the show's return.

On Sunday (Jan. 8) during the "Pan Am" broadcast at 10 p.m. ET, @Zap2it will be tweeting a trivia question related to the episode. Answer the question using the hashtag #PanAm, and we'll randomly select five winners to receive a free "Pan Am" t-shirt. Note that you must be following @Zap2it on Twitter to be eligible.

Now if only we could use Twitter to help Laura (Margot Robbie) and Ted (Michael Mosley) get things straightened out in their not-quite-yet relationship. Perhaps some day?

Good luck and enjoy the flight. And here are the contest rules.

Pan Am Sneak Peek: Look Who's Back!

(1/6/12) After months of will-they-or-won't-they tension on Pan Am, Dean (Mike Vogel) and Colette (Karine Vanasse) finally seem to be on the same page. After all, she even met his parents last month. What could possibly go wrong? Um, well, his ex-girlfriend Bridget (Annabelle Wallis) -- who went MIA after he proposed to her -- could resurface.

Hopefully she's taken these last few months to think of a quasi-good explanation for standing him up.

Check out this exclusive clip: Video.

Most (and least) watched shows of fall

(12/27/11) Now that we’re in rerun hell, it’s high time to take stock of what we liked (and loathed) from September to December. Below is a list of every network show and how many viewers each one averaged.

While these numbers aren’t a key piece of the puzzle for the broadcast nets when they are setting ad rates and deciding whether to renew a series, they definitely help to tell a story of a program’s true popularity.*

1. NCIS (CBS, 21.4 million)
2. Sunday NFL Football (NBC, 19.9)
3. Two and a Half Men (CBS, 18.9)
4. Dancing with the Stars (ABC, 18.5)
5. NCIS: LA (CBS, 17.4)
6. DWTS: Results (ABC, 16.65)
7. Big Bang Theory (CBS, 16.61)
8. Modern Family (ABC, 15.066)
9. NFL Pre-Kick (NBC, 15.063)
10. 60 Minutes (CBS, 14.67)
11. Mentalist (CBS, 14.6)
12. Criminal Minds (CBS, 14.4)
13. The OT (Fox, 14.0)
14. 2 Broke Girls (CBS, 13.6)
15. Mike & Molly (CBS, 13.56)
16. Unforgettable (CBS, 13.532)
17. Person of Interest (CBS, 13.531)
18. Hawaii 5-0 (CBS, 13.4)
19. CSI (CBS, 13.2)
20. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 13.1)
21. Blue Bloods (CBS, 12.9)
22. X Factor Wed (Fox, 12.5)
23. Survivor: South Pacific (CBS, 12.5)
24. X Factor Thurs (Fox, 12.3)
25. Castle (ABC, 12.2)
26. Once Upon a Time (ABC, 12.0)
27. Good Wife (CBS, 11.9)
28. How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 11.5)
29. Last Man Standing (ABC, 11.47)
30. Rules of Engagement (CBS, 11.45)
31. CSI: Miami (CBS, 11.42)
32. CSI: NY (CBS, 11.34)
33. Football Night in America 3 (NBC, 11.1)
34. Amazing Race 19 (CBS, 11.05)
35. Body of Proof (ABC, 11.03)
36. Desperate Housewives (ABC, 11.0)
37. Bones (Fox, 10.2)
38. New Girl (Fox, 10.0)
39. Terra Nova (Fox, 9.98)
40. Glee (Fox, 9.90)
41. Revenge (ABC, 9.8)
42. Middle (ABC, 9.82)
43. House (Fox, 9.7)
44. Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 9.1)
45. Suburgatory (ABC, 9.0)
46. Harry’s Law (NBC, 8.99)
47. Private Practice (ABC, 8.98)
48. How to be a Gentleman (CBS, 8.6 million)
49. A Gifted Man (CBS, 8.5)
50. Fear Factor (NBC, 8.5)
51. Pan Am (ABC, 8.2)
52. Simpsons (Fox, 7.77)
53. Happy Endings (ABC, 7.70)
54. Hell’s Kitchen Mon 9 (Fox, 7.4)
55. Hell’s Kitchen Mon 8 (Fox, 7.3)
56. Office (NBC, 7.29)
57. Family Guy (Fox, 7.26)
58. Parenthood (NBC, 7.1)
59. Grimm (NBC, 7.0)
60. Charlie’s Angels (ABC, 6.919)
61. Man Up (ABC, 6.915)
62. America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC, 6.8)
63. Biggest Loser 12 (NBC, 6.7)
64. Raising Hope (Fox, 6.6)
65. Sat. Night College Football (ABC, 6.30)
66. Up All Night (NBC, 6.14)
67. Prime Suspect (NBC, 6.12)
68. I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox, 6.0)
69. Football Night in America 2 (NBC, 5.97)
70. Dateline Fri (NBC, 5.93)
71. American Dad (Fox, 5.7)
72. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, 5.77)
73. 48 Hours Mystery (CBS, 5.75)
74. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 9 p.m. (ABC, 5.4)
75. Whitney (NBC, 5.3)
76. Playboy Club (NBC, 5.2)
77. Sing Off (NBC, 5.17)
78. Cleveland Show (Fox, 5.14)
79. 20/20 Friday (ABC, 5.10)
80. Cleveland Show Sunday 8:30 (Fox, 5.07)
81. You Deserve It (ABC, 5.03)
82. Crimetime Sat 9 p.m. (CBS, 4.5)
83. Middle Tuesday (ABC, 4.48)
84. Allen Gregory (Fox, 4.45)
85. Parks and Recreation (NBC (4.42)
86. SVU Saturday (NBC, 4.3)
87. Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, 4.29)
88. Prime Suspect Sat. (NBC, 4.26)
89. Sat. Football pregame (ABC, 4.22)
90. COPS Sat. 8:30 (Fox, 4.19)
91. Community (NBC, 4.18)
92. Fringe (Fox, 4.10)
93. Rock Center (NBC, 4.01)
94. Free Agents (NBC, 3.9)
95. Chuck (NBC, 3.888)
96. Suburgatory Tues. (ABC, 3.886)
97. COPS Sat. 8 p.m. (Fox, 3.77)
98. Up All Night 8:30 (NBC, 3.72)
99. Comedytime Sat. 1 (CBS, 3.6)
100. Harry’s Law Sat. (NBC, 3.5)
101. Comedytime Sat. 2 (CBS, 3.3)
102. Vampire Diaries (CW, 3.1)
103. Terra Nova Sat. (Fox, 2.5)
104. America’s Next Top Model 17 (CW, 2.37)
105. Secret Circle (CW, 2.34)
106. Supernatural (CW, 2.25)
107. Hart of Dixie (CW, 2.1)
108. Nikita (CW, 2.06)
109. Ringer (CW, 2.02)
…112. 90210 (CW, 1.7)
113. Gossip Girl (CW, 1.68)
114. Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 1.65)
…120. H8R (CW, 1.2)

*Note: Season averages include repeats. If a program (original or rerun) aired in a different time slot, it is listed separately. Rankings for NBC’s Sunday Night football is also broken up because each half-hour can command different ad rates.

Christina Ricci returns to NY stage in 'Midsummer'

(12/20/11) Christina Ricci's stage debut last year apparently didn't scare her off — she's going back.

Producers said Tuesday the "Pan Am" star will join two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth in a Classic Stage Company production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The off-Broadway show will begin performances March 28 and play through May 6. Neuwirth will play the role of Titania. Ricci will have the role of Hermia.

Ricci made her Broadway debut last season in Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still," replacing Alicia Silverstone and starring opposite Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James and Eric Bogosian.

Ricci burst onto the scene in 1990 as Cher's daughter in "Mermaids" and has built a long list of film credits, including "The Addams Family," ''The Ice Storm," ''Speed Racer" and "Penelope."

'Pan Am': Fans petitioning to save show

(12/15/11) While the future of ABC's period drama "Pan Am" is still up in the air, fans of the show are already lobbying the network to extend the program.

A fan of the program started an online petition to save the ratings-challenged show. To date the petition has received nearly 2,500 signatures.

"[We] wish to show our eagerness for the show to be given a chance to prove itself. 'Pan Am' is a groundbreaking show as it uses a strong female ensemble cast to take us around the world, not only to entertain but to give us a look at the historical relevance of the 1960s," the petition reads. "If the viewers are given enough time to engage in this continuing narrative we believe they will become loyal, long-term fans of the show."

ABC offered no comment regarding the petition. They have previously announced the show will complete its initial order of 14 episodes before considering its future for the 2012-13 schedule.

If you're interested in signing, here's the link.

DVR ratings: 'New Girl,' 'Terra Nova' lead the season's new shows

(12/6/11) Nielsen's DVR ratings usually follow this pattern: If a scripted show draws strong ratings on the night it airs, it tends to do pretty well in delayed viewing too.

That's holding true this season for veteran shows -- "Modern Family" and "Two and a Half Men" add the most viewers on average and are two of the Top 3 gainers in adults 18-49 (along with "Grey's Anatomy"). Among new series so far this season, however, the results are a little bit more mixed.

Several of the most-watched freshman shows -- "Person of Interest," "New Girl," "Once Upon a Time" and "2 Broke Girls," for instance -- are all among the 10 biggest gainers for new shows in Nielsen's Live +7 ratings (through Nov. 20, the latest week available). But less-watched shows like "Pan Am" and "Prime Suspect" are also doing healthy DVR business, each adding close to 2 million viewers per episode.

Middle-of-the-pack series like "Revenge," "Terra Nova" and "Grimm" are also getting pretty healthy gains via delayed viewing. "Terra Nova," in fact, is second among new shows in both viewers and adults 18-49 ratings gains.

We should note that the DVR numbers for a show like "Pan Am" won't necessarily help the show when it comes time to make renewal decisions in the spring. The same-day ratings for a show tend to track more closely with the "C+3" ratings that are a key tool in setting ad rates. But in terms the total audience watching each new episode of "Pan Am" and "Prime Suspect," the picture isn't quite as bleak.

Here are the Top 10 new series of the season in Live +7 ratings through Nov. 20, along with their overall Live +7 ranking:

Total viewers

1. "New Girl," +2,776,000 (8,224,000 to 11,000,000); 14th overall
2. "Terra Nova," +2,677,000 (7,977,000 to 10,654,000); 17th
3. "Person of Interest," +2,670,000 (12,114,000 to 14,784,000); 18th
4. "Unforgettable," +2,545,000 (11,934,000 to 14,479,000); 20th
5. "Once Upon a Time," +2,518,000 (11,869,000 to 14,387,000); 21st
6. "Revenge," +2,488,000 (8,407,000 to 10,895,000); 22nd
7. "Grimm," +2,164,000 (5,800,000 to 7,964,000); 26th
8. "2 Broke Girls," +2,071,000 (12,205,000 to 14,276,000); 28th
9. "Pan Am," +1,921,000 (6,624,000 to 8,545,000); 32nd
10. "Prime Suspect," +1,887,000 (4,891,000 to 6,778,000); 33rd

Adults 18-49

1. "New Girl," +1.4 (5.0 to 6.4); tied for third overall
2. "Terra Nova," +1.2 (2.7 to 3.9); t-10th
3. "Once Upon a Time," +1.1 (3.9 to 5.0); t-12th
4. "2 Broke Girls," +1.0 (4.8 to 5.8); t-18th
t4. "Revenge," +1.0 (2.7 to 3.7); t-18th
t4. "Grimm," +1.0 (1.8 to 2.8); t-18th
7. "Person of Interest," +0.9 (2.7 to 3.6); t-22nd
t7. "Up All Night," +0.9 (2.1 to 3.0); t-22nd
9. "Pan Am," +0.8 (2.1 to 2.9); t-29th
10. "Last Man Standing," +0.7 (3.0 to 3.7); t-34th

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

(12/5/11) The ratings for "Once Upon a Time" dipped for the second straight week on Sunday after a string of rock-steady performances earlier in the season. It did, however, keep ABC competitive in its hour. "Pan Am's" first episode back after a three-week break was also lower than the last couple episodes.

Elsewhere, NBC scored another victory with "Sunday Night Football," although the Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints game drew a smaller audience than last week's contest. FOX's animation lineup got a boost from a late-afternoon NFL game that bled into primetime.

NBC drew 13.7 million viewers and an 8.4 rating/13 share in households for the night, beating out FOX's 12.6 million and 7.4/11. Numbers for both networks will change some with adjustments for their live NFL broadcasts. CBS (10.4 million, 6.6/10) finished third. ABC trailed with 7.1 million viewers and a 4.3/7.

NBC also led the adults 18-49 demographic, but not by much. Pending adjustments, the Peacock's 5.2 rating edged FOX's 5.1 for the top spot. ABC took third with a 2.2, topping CBS' 2.1.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (24.55 million viewers, 14.3/22 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (11.9 million, 7.5/11)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (6.35 million, 3.9/6)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6 million, 3.4/5)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"The OT" (9.0)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Lions-Saints (16.3 million, 9.8/14)
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (9.64 million, 5.8/9)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (9.61 million, 5.6/8)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (9 million, 5.2/8)/"Allen Gregory" (5.2 million, 3.1/5)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.9)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (17 million, 10.2/15)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (9.8 million, 6.3/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (8.1 million, 5.2/8)
FOX: "Family Guy" (7.05 million, 4.1/6)/"The Cleveland Show" (5.4 million, 3.2/5)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (6.5)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (15.2 million, 9.6/15)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (10.4 million, 6.7/11)
ABC: "Pan Am" (4.7 million, 3.2/5)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (6.3)

'Pan Am': Kiss Kiss Bang Bang recap

(12/5/11) The crew of "Pan Am" traveled to London Sunday (Dec. 4)...well almost all of them. Dean and Colette take their own adventure, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Kate (Kelli Garner) is sore at the CIA about the Nico Lanza thing when the Yugoslavian diplomat essentially got blackmailed into spying for the Feds. So she's understandably reluctant to get involved in any more snooping. But Kate is a little like Al Pacino in "Godfather 3." She could easily say, "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in." This means a new adventure for her involving a Soviet bad guy. Nice to see Kate's willing to give it another shot.

Maggie (Christina Ricci), the free-spirited one of the crew, befriends a U.S. Congressman (Chris Beetem) who is en route to making a pro-nuke speech. Perhaps "befriends" is a bit of an understatement. They get along great, except for the whole mutually assured destruction disagreement. But you know what they say, opposites attract. And it offers a combustible outcome.

Now on to what we hinted at the other day, the relationship between Dean (Mike Vogel) and Colette (Karine Vanasse). First of all, Dean's history with Bridget casts a long shadow. His less-than-subtle father, Bill (Jim Coope), hasn't quite grasped that his son has moved on. Bill's frequent questions Bridget almost torpedo what was supposed to be a romantic getaway for the burgeoning lovebirds. Luckily Dean and Colette get past this and end up in a scene reminiscent of Jane Russell in "The Outlaw."

And if all that wasn't enough, there's still a little spark between Laura (Margot Robbie) and Ted (Michael Mosley). The problem is this might get derailed by the return of one of Ted's old gal pals played by Ashley Greene.

"Pan Am" is getting there. But will it be around long enough to reach its destination?

Christina Ricci and 'Pan Am' may be heading west, if show is renewed

(12/5/11) (NY Daily News) Christina Ricci could continue flying “Pan Am” — straight to the West Coast. In the wake of news that ABC has ordered just one more episode of the series about ’60s stewardesses, a source close to the show says it still has a shot at renewal for a second season. If that happens, though, we hear the production, now shot in Brooklyn, will relocate to Los Angeles.

'Pan Am': Sneak peek video as Dean and Colette's relationship takes off

(12/2/11) It's uncertain what the future holds for ABC's "Pan Am" And it probably depends on who you ask and on what day. But we do know that Colette's (Karine Vanasse) relationship with Dean (Mike Vogel) looks to be heating up.

In some sneak peek video of the Dec. 4 episode, the burgeoning lovebirds take their relationship to the next level, a trip to see his parents. Dean lays it on the line and it appears that Colette feels the same way.

This moment seemed destined to happen when the two locked lips after their harrowing trip to Haiti and Dean's willingness to bring back a stowaway.

Here's the video.

'Pan Am': The cast gets a history lesson

(12/2/11) (Video) None of the stars of "Pan Am" were alive in 1963, the year in which the show takes place. So in addition to learning their lines and figuring out their characters, they've also gotten a crash course in the social history of early-'60s America.

"It was just a different era ... there were no consequences," Michael Mosley, who plays co-pilot Ted, told Zap2it when we visited the set recently. "Nobody was going to get cancer from smoking. America was the best country in the world ... even when we were wrong, we were right."

"Pan Am" centers on its four female characters, who by virtue of their jobs were afforded more opportunities than a lot of women of the era -- even if, as Christina Ricci puts it, it was still a "blatantly misogynistic period."

"What we show is these women, in order to do this job ... that allowed them these freedoms that would never be allowed otherwise, they sort of had to smile and wink and play the game a little bit, through these sort of misogynistic nuisances," Ricci says.

And also? The storyline about Kate (Kelli Garner) being recruited by the U.S. government isn't just something the writers made up.

"I had no idea any of that was going on [at the time]," says Margot Robbie, who plays Kate's sister Laura. "We've spoken to the stewardesses, and a lot of them were working undercover, which is fascinating."

Hit play on the video up above to hear more from Robbie, Ricci, Mosley, Karine Vanasse and Mike Vogel. "Pan Am" airs its final episode of 2011 at 10 p.m. ET Sunday (Dec. 4) on ABC and will return to finish up its season in January.

Is Pan Am Really Canceled? Not So Fast...

(11/29/11) Another day, another fall TV series that looks to be a goner, but the network says it is not.

So what's the real story?

After one of Pan Am's stars, Karine Vanasse, tweeted that she got "THE call" that the show is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas, ABC reps and sources are telling us a different story...

"No, this is not correct," an ABC rep says of the rumor that Pan Am has been canceled. "Nothing has changed. We are not canceling Pan Am. We are still in production and will continue to be in production finishing the original 13 episodes plus one more additional one."

And good news for fans: Per ABC, we will see all the ordered episodes. "We have one more original episode this coming week, Dec. 4," the show's rep explains, "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."

Insiders close to the series tell me that the ABC higher-ups still have hopes for Pan Am, however, they simply have "too many good shows" that are working right now so Pan Am will get a shortened freshman season. But the insiders say, it could very likely come back next fall or even late summer.

Bottom line: It doesn't look likely that Pan Am will survive in the long haul, but it is still possible.

Despite a very promising start out of the gate (11 million viewers for a critically acclaimed pilot episode), Pan Am has dipped to about 5 or 6 million viewers per episode.

And of course, if the show really isn't cancelled (and we believe it not to be), someone really should tell the cast!

Are you watching Pan Am? Are you hoping it survives?

'Pan Am': Karine Vanasse says show is over, ABC disagrees

(11/29/11) It appears that there's a bit of confusion about the future of "Pan Am." Is it grounded or isn't it?

Karine Vanasse, who plays Colette on the period drama, Tweeted on Tuesday (Nov. 29) that the series is doomed. "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!" she writes.

However ABC offered a decidedly different tone regarding the series saying, "We are not cancelling Pan Am, it's a contender for next season and that will be announced at the May upfronts."

The program, which follows the lives of four airline stewardesses, has been plagued by low viewership. Its most recent new episode drew at paltry 5.7 million viewers while.

The truth is that networks never formally announce when a show's been canceled. They simply say things like "It's under consideration" or "It's on hiatus." So interpret this news as you choose.

Would viewers even want to watch it if it returned next season?

'Pan Am': Darren Pettie to guest star

(11/28/11) (Photo) It's not really a "type cast" as much as it in an "era cast" for Darren Pettie. The "Mad Men" actor is set to join the period drama "Pan Am" for a recurring role.

EW is reporting that Pettie will play a former WWII pilot named Vince Broyles who apparently has an ego that's out of control. The report goes on to say that Pettie's character is allowed to use a Pan Am plane for personal use and will likely have problems with Dean Lowrey (Mike Vogel).

Pettie had periodic appearances in "Mad Men" as Lee Garner, Jr., the son of the owner of Lucky Strike. He also appeared in a few episodes of "Ringer" as Detective Jimmy Kemper.

Pettie joins Ashley Greene as planned guest stars on the show.

ABC unveils midseason shows; "Pan Am" bumped from slot

(11/18/11) The biggest thing in the midseason schedule ABC announced Friday (Nov. 18) -- for us, at least -- is what isn't there: The network hasn't scheduled the return of "Cougar Town" or the Shonda Rhimes-produced drama "Scandal" yet.

What it does have, though, is premiere dates for cross-dressing comedy "Work It" and the buzzed-about dramas "The River" and "GCB," along with (shudder) "Celebrity Wife Swap." First-year comedy "Man Up!," meanwhile, will be off the schedule come January.

"Work It," whose pilot drew rather large doses of critical bile over the summer, will take over the "Man Up!" timeslot at 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesdays starting Jan. 3. Also premiering that night is "Celebrity Wife Swap," which will fill the "Dancing With the Stars" results show spot for five weeks before yielding to "The River," a creepy drama about the search for a missing explorer on the Amazon.

The 9 o'clock Tuesday spot was widely expected to be the landing place for "Cougar Town" and new comedy "Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23," but that's not the case -- at least not for the first couple months of 2012. "Scandal," which stars Kerry Washington as a D.C.-based crisis management consultant, also hasn't been given a spot yet. An ABC rep tells Zap2it, however, that all three will "definitely" be on the air next year.

"GCB," meanwhile, will take over for "Pan Am" at 10 p.m. Sundays starting March 4. The 8 o'clock Thursday spot soon to be vacated by "Charlie's Angels" will go first to "Winter Wipeout" (starting Jan. 5) and then to "Missing," which stars Ashley Judd as a former CIA agent searching for her missing son in Europe. ABC also has set the spring run of "Dancing With the Stars" to start on March 19.

The full midseason schedule, with new shows in bold (Wednesday's lineup is unchanged):

8 p.m. "The Bachelor" (premieres Jan. 2)/"Dancing With the Stars" (premieres March 19)
10 p.m. "Castle"

8 p.m. "Last Man Standing"
8:30 p.m. "Work It" (premieres Jan. 3)
9 p.m. "Celebrity Wife Swap" (premieres Jan. 3)/"The River" (premieres Feb. 7)/"Dancing With the Stars" results (premieres March 27)
10 p.m. "Body of Proof"

8 p.m. "Winter Wipeout" (premieres Jan. 5)/"Missing" (premieres March 15)
9 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"
10 p.m. "Private Practice"

8 p.m. "Shark Tank" (premieres Feb. 3)
10 p.m. "20/20"

7 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8 p.m. "Once Upon a Time"
9 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10 p.m. "Pan Am"/"GCB" (premieres March 4)

Breaking Dawn's Ashley Greene Spills on Her High-Flying Pan Am Role

(11/18/11) It's always nice to have a backup plan when you're one of the stars of a megafranchise that's about to end. For example: Breaking Dawn's Ashley Greene is headed to prime-time television.

Greene just booked a three-episode arc on ABC's Pan Am, but the details surrounding her role have been sparse. Until now.

Greene fills us in on the part, plus she reveals why she chose this as her first post-Twilight Saga gig...

"I think Pan Am to me, when I look at it and when I watch it, seems like a mix of movie and TV; it's not quite a film, it's not quite TV. And it's a really interesting thing, kind of along the lines of what HBO does," Greene says. "I think it's just very beautifully and well shot. And it's in the 1960s, and I've been wanting to do something like that for a while."

Well, when you're part of one of the biggest movie series of all time, you tend to be a little too busy to drop in on a television series.

But the Pan Am producers saw their chances when Greene found a space in her schedule after Breaking Dawn: Part 1 premiered.

"They approached me probably a week ago and asked if I wanted to be a part of it, and I read this three-episode arc," Greene told us. "It's very interesting; it's different than anything I've ever done. So I'm excited."

Greene will play Amanda, a childhood friend of Ted (Michael Mosley). "Their fathers are very good friends and [she] may or may not be romantically interested in him," she tells us. "But she definitely has a twist. I feel like all of the characters have a twist, and so it was a very interesting character that I haven't done yet."

Her first episode, titled "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," airs Dec. 4.

Excited to see Greene take on the role? Or will you only ever see her as Alice Cullen?

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011

(11/14/11) NBC cruised to a ratings win Sunday as its "Sunday Night Football" game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets scored typically strong numbers (though not quite as big as last week). "Once Upon a Time" continued its remarkably steady run for ABC, and "Desperate Housewives" improved a little on its recent performances.

NBC brought in 15.8 million viewers and a 10.1 rating/15 share in households for the night (numbers that will change some with the live NFL telecast). CBS (10.9 million, 7.1/10) was up a little bit in viewers from last week and finished second. FOX, which got a boost from late-afternoon NFL games bleeding into primetime, took third with 8.9 million viewers and a 5.5/9, while ABC came in at 8.4 million viewers and a 5.3/8.

NBC dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 5.8 rating, finishing two full points ahead of FOX's 3.8. ABC came in third with a 2.5, and CBS trailed with a 2.2.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (15.5 million viewers, 9.5/14 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (13.25 million, 8.7/13)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (7.8 million, 4.9/7)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7.3 million, 4.3/8)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"The OT" (5.9)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Jets-Patriots (18 million, 11.3/16)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (11.3 million, 6.8/10)
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (10.6 million, 6.5/9)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (7.5 million, 4.5/7)/"Allen Gregory" (4.2 million, 2.6/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (6.3)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (19.6 million, 12.4/17)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (10.1 million, 6.5/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (9.2 million, 6.2/9)
FOX: "Family Guy" (6 million, 3.6/5)/"American Dad" (4.85 million, 2.9/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.2)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (17.7 million, 11.5/18)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (9.8 million, 6.6/10)
ABC: "Pan Am" (5.7 million, 4.0/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.0)

'Pan Am' flies into political unrest with 'Unscheduled Departure'

(11/11/11) The intrigue continues to soar at 30,000 feet on Sunday's (Nov. 13) episode of ABC's period drama "Pan Am." The crew takes off for Caracas but has to make an emergency landing in Haiti while the island is reeling from a devastating tropical storm and in the midst of a brutal political regime.

En route to South America, a passenger suffers a heart attack. There is no doctor on board to help out, so the crew is forced to make an unscheduled stop in Haiti to seek medical attention -- and the gang find themselves in hostile territory.

(Multi-talented Latin heartthrob Aaron Diaz, best known for his lead role on the telenovela "Teresa" -- a remake of the Mexican soap opera that launched Salma Hayek's career -- also guest-stars as Miguel, a suave, jet-setting businessman who charms the stewardesses with invitations to his yacht. More than a few viewers are sure to recognize the silky voice from his 2010 self-titled album.)

"Pan Am" has a knack for incorporating historical events into plot lines while keeping the emphasis on what the main characters are going through -- and Sunday night's episode, "Unscheduled Departure," is no different.

Haiti in 1963 wasn't exactly a pleasure cruise (not that it is today). The county was a hotbed of political unrest and the source of increasing tension with the U.S. government. The financial policies and internal repression of the Haitian people under the regime of President Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier led the U.S. to attempt to isolate Haiti from the rest of the world.

"One of the perks of this gig is that you're forced to study these things you would never study," Michael Mosley, who portrays pilot Ted, tells Zap2it. "Finding out what the political climate was like in Haiti at that time was eye-opening. Papa Doc drained the country of anyone who wanted to be there and turned it into what it is today."

Also that year, Hurricane Flora struck the island and virtually decimated all the homes and buildings near the ocean. An estimated 5,000 people died in the disaster.

So on Sunday night, when "Pan Am's" 707 makes an emergency landing and the lights are out on the runway because of a tropical storm, it's safe to assume it's not a layover where the crew will be lounging by a pool in a posh Caribbean resort, sipping mai tais.

"Each episode has its own flavor and rhythm. But in this episode we had to land because of a sick passenger, it was a matter of life and death and the other passengers had to be reassured," says Karine Vanasse, who plays stewardess Colette. "It was great to have everyone come together to solve this problem."

French-speaking Colette and Ted team up for a dangerous trek across the island, which is filled with downed trees with little to no electricity, to seek medical help. It's sure not to be a stroll through Princess Grace's rose garden.

"The chemistry between me and Michael was great," Vanasse says. "I had never had a scene with him, and we've been shooting for four months. I was like, 'I don't know what it's like to be really looking at you.' It was great."

Adds Mosley: "We were hanging out with rebels in a jeep and did a lot of stunt driving. It was a blast."

"Pan Am" airs at 10 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC.

'Twilight' actress to appear on ABC's 'Pan Am'

(11/11/11) Welcome to the ’60s, Alice Cullen!

EW has learned exclusively that Ashley Greene (Alice from the Twilight franchise) has booked a three-episode arc on ABC’s period drama.

She’ll play a debutante with a past connection to Ted (Michael Mosley). She’ll appear in the episode titled “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” that’ll air Dec. 4.

Breaking Dawn, the next installment in the Twilight franchise, opens Nov. 18.

Unlike some of ABC’s other freshman shows, Pan Am (8.25 million, 2.7 rating/7 in adults 18-49) has yet to receive a full season pickup. ABC has ordered more scripts for the show, but has been holding off on a pickup. But there’s a new showrunner at the helm and the show is doing well overseas.

Live Twitter Chat with Karine Vanasse (11/13)

(11/9/11) Fans of ABC's popular drama series "Pan Am" will be able to submit questions and receive real-time responses from Karine Vanasse, who plays Colette. She will be up on Twitter at @karinevanasse during the East Coast broadcast of the show on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, from 10:01-11:00 p.m., ET. She will also offer commentary on the exciting action taking place, as well as behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

2012 People's Choice Award Nominations

(11/8/11) Voting begins today for all 43 categories and will end on Dec. 6, 2011, except for "Favorite New TV Drama" and "Favorite New TV Comedy" which will remain open for voting until the night of show. The People's Choice Awards air live Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Favorite New TV Drama:
A Gifted Man
Hart of Dixie
Once Upon A Time
Pan Am
Person of Interest
Prime Suspect
The Secret Circle

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011

(11/7/11) "Once Upon a Time" is proving to be a very consistent performer early in its life on ABC. The show posted solid ratings for the third week in a row Sunday, beating everything that wasn't the Ravens-Steelers game in its timeslot. The news wasn't as good for the rest of ABC's lineup, though, as "Desperate Housewives" was off a bit from last week and "Pan Am" was flat in adults 18-49 and down a tick in viewers.

Elsewhere, "Sunday Night Football" gave NBC another victory for the night, while FOX also got a bump from NFL games bleeding into primetime -- although "Allen Gregory" continued to struggle. CBS was its usual steady self.

NBC led the night with 16.35 million viewers and a 9.8 rating/15 share in households, numbers that will likely rise when its live NFL broadcast is accounted for. FOX (10.9 million, 6.3/9) currently stands in second, but since it had some live football as well, CBS (10.3 million, 6.6/10) could overtake it in the final nationals. ABC drew 7.35 million viewers and a 4.6/7.

The Peacock also dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 6.3 rating. FOX is second for now with a 4.6. ABC came in third for the night with a 2.4, and CBS scored a 2.2.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (21.2 million viewers, 12.2/19 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (13.7 million, 8.6/13)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (7.85 million, 4.8/7)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" rerun (4.1 million, 2.6/4)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"The OT" (8.0)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Ravens-Steelers (19.75 million, 11.7/17)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (11.4 million, 6.6/10)
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (10 million, 6.2/9)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (8 million, 4.7/7)/"Allen Gregory" (4.3 million, 2.6/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.4)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (20 million, 12.1/18)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (9 million, 5.8/8)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (8.7 million, 5.5/8)
FOX: "Family Guy" (5.7 million, 3.5/5)/"American Dad" (4.8 million, 2.8/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.8)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (17.8 million, 10.9/18)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (8.6 million, 5.8/10)
ABC: "Pan Am" (5.2 million, 3.6/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.5)

'Pan Am': Finally flying right

(11/7/11) Finally, the episode of "Pan Am" we've been waiting for.

Sunday's (Nov. 6) version of the period drama delivered on all the potential the pilot hinted at. The show offered tension, intrigue and romance and even social commentary.

[Warning: Actual spoiler alert.]

Kate's (Kelli Garner) spy work takes a complicated twist when the Feds implement their strategy to turn her Yugoslavian boyfriend, Nico Lanza (Goran Visnjic), into a double agent. First the CIA breaks in on the couple, putting Lanza in handcuffs and dragging him away. Kate is mightily miffed because this wasn't part of the plan or at least the plan she was told. When she's finally able to talk to Lanza in the interrogation room, he's understandably upset and wonders if everything he knows of her is a lie. The Feds give Lanza two difficult options about what to do next. Kate pleads with him to make the right decision.

In a subplot, Laura (Margot Robbie) comes face to face with the issue of racial intolerance. It begins when she falls for a African-American Navy man played by Gaius Charles. The two hit it off, but Laura starts to have second thoughts because of societal pressures. This matter gets worse when they encounter prejudice out on the streets of New York. But in the end, things go just as the two hope.

Sunday's episode of "Pan Am" hit all the right notes. It was dramatic when it needed to be. It was sensitive when it needed to be. It was thought provoking when it needed to be. It even offered a little bit of well-timed humor. If future shows continue this way, "Pan Am" may have clear skies ahead.

Fasten Your Seatbelts! Pan Am's Margot Robbie Tells Us All About Tonight's Turbulence

(11/6/11) What happens when you add four stewardesses, a plane full of sailors, and an unlimited amount of alcohol?

We talked to Pan Am's Australian beauty Margot Robbie and she reveals the new man in Laura's life, the fate of your favorite couples—and the answer to that question!

And that answer is: "A really funny scene!"

Robbie explains, "It was hilarious because they had been in a submarine for the last six months, so they were going crazy and having this massive party on the plane!" We'd like a window seat on that flight, please!

And it seem like one of the stewardesses has a thing for men in uniform. Robbie reveals that Laura's runaway-bride label will soon be disappearing after tonight's episode. "For my character there is a new love-interest and he is an African-American sailor, which is obviously really topical because in 1963 racism was just so much more prevalent than it is today," Margot says. "It's a controversial storyline, but it is beautifully written." Hmm, we're sensing a possible star-crossed lovers type of thing, and so who exactly is this potential new beau in Laura's life? Friday Night Lights' Gaius Charles plays the hunky, yet oh-so-proper character Joe and their scenes together are simply electric.

While one relationship is heating up in this episode, the fans' favorite couple, Dean (Mike Vogel) and Colette (Karine Vanasse), is being put on the back burner. (Still waiting on their shipper name!) But Margot coyly tells us not to worry. "You'll see in later episodes the Colette and Dean chemistry. It definitely heats up again so the fans can rest assure that they'll get back on track."

But could there be trouble for this relationship before it even begins? Fans remember Bridget Pierce (Annabelle Wallis) as the former CIA stewardess and Dean's kinda-sorta fiance who has been missing in action for the past four episodes. Margot teases that the blond bombshell is not gone for good. "I've heard rumors that she is definitely coming back before we go away for Christmas, and it is actually going to be quite dramatic because of the whole Dean and Colette relationship forming."

Of all the relationships on Pan Am, and let's face it there are a lot, our favorite would definitely be the Laura and Maggie (Christina Ricci) gal-pal duo. Robbie tells us that the on-screen friendship is not just good acting, "Christina and I get along really well and it's just hilarious to do all these things together," she gushes. "The dynamic is just so great and you can see such a change in Laura when she moves in with Maggie." What kind of a change? Well, for example, tonight's episode opens with a massive party at Maggie's apartment and fans get to see something that we've never seen before: Drunk Laura!

Margot tells us with a laugh, "I was surprised, too! I picked up the script and I was like, 'What, drunk? That never happens!' I didn't even know that she drank!" She adds: "You definitely see Laura in a way you don't typically see her. I think it will be really fun for people to see."

Although Pan Am has yet to be picked up for a full season, ABC recently ordered five additional scripts for theirs 60s-set drama. Robbie assured us that she is still optimistic about ABC's plans. "It's definitely encouraging, and it has kind of re-assembled the whole writing crew and writing department. Change is encouraging because it shows that they have not given up yet and they really want to still make it work. They are using all of the resources they can to get the ratings up, so it's a good thing for sure."

Is there still hope for Pan Am to soar? Are you excited for tonight's twists and turns? Can we ever write an article about Pan Am without flying puns? (We already know the answer to that one.)

An all-new Pan Am airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

'Pan Am' borrows John Travolta's plane for shoot

(11/4/11) (Photo) "Pan Am" is about to get a delivery from some A-list talent. The period drama will use one of John Travolta's planes in one of their upcoming episodes.

The series will use Travolta's 707 as part of a show when the crew has to make an unscheduled landing in Haiti according to It is here that they are exposed to the political unrest and the hazards of the island nation.

The site also reports that the production team had to paint over the jet to make sure it had the Pan Am logo rather than its normal design.

The series is filming the episode at an airport in Long Island. It is slated to air Nov. 13 at 10 p.m. ET.

5 Scripts Ordered

(11/3/11) According to Deadline, ABC also put in an order for 5 new "Pan Am" scripts, but hasn't made any commitment to produce them yet.

Guest Star Twitter Chat

(11/3/11) Fans of ABC's popular drama series "Pan Am" will be able to submit questions and receive real-time responses from Gaius Charles ("Friday Night Lights"), who plays Joe. He will be up on Twitter at @GaiusCharles during both the East and West Coast broadcasts of the show, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6, from 10:01-11:00 p.m., ET/PT. He will also offer commentary on the exciting action taking place, as well as behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

This guest starring role marks the return of Charles to television after a three year absence to pursue a graduate degree in theology at Drew University.

On Sunday's episode, "Truth or Dare," sparks fly between Laura and a sailor (Gaius Charles) on a special - and unusually wild -- Pan Am flight bringing servicemen home, leading Laura to realize what she's really looking for in a man, as well as opening her eyes to the malicious racial climate in the country. Meanwhile Kate's complicated mission to turn Niko to work for the U.S. government culminates in dramatic fashion, threatening their personal relationship.


(11/1/11) Aaron Diaz, who is best known for appearing in the lead role in the recent hit telenovela "Teresa," will guest star as Miguel, a dashing, charming and wealthy entrepreneur on the upcoming episode, "Unscheduled Departure," of ABC's popular new drama, "Pan Am," airing SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), the ABC Television Network.

The multi-talented Diaz has been the lead in four very successful primetime novelas, as well as being a singer-composer. In 2009 he released his first solo big band album, as well as launched his clothing line, Perra, becoming both a designer and businessman. In 2011 he played the coveted lead role of the doctor in the soap opera "Teresa," a remake of the telenovela which launched Salma Hayek's career. It broke ratings record s throughout Mexico, the U.S. (Univision) - often in the top 50 -- and in several Latin American countries. He also released a 2011 calendar which sold-out. His second album was the self-titled "Aaron Diaz," and his film, "Todo Un Hombre," is soon to be released.

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011

(10/31/11) ABC got encouraging second-week ratings from "Once Upon a Time" Sunday. The new drama fell a little in total viewers from its premiere but matched its solid adults 18-49 rating. The news wasn't as good for "Allen Gregory": FOX's new animated series debuted to somewhat soft ratings, despite a better-than-usual "Simpsons" lead-in.

NBC averaged 16.8 million viewers and a 10.1 rating/16 share in households to lead Sunday night, beating out the 14.5 million viewers and 9.1/14 for CBS. Both networks were affected by live NFL coverage, so their numbers will change some. ABC (7.9 million, 5.0/8) came in third. FOX trailed with 5.6 million viewers and a 3.2/5.

NBC dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 6.7 rating, finishing three points ahead of No. 2 CBS (3.7). FOX scored a 2.7 in the demo to beat out ABC (2.5) for third place.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
CBS: NFL overrun/"60 Minutes" (23.5 million viewers, 14.2/23 households)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (9.1 million, 5.4/9)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" rerun (5.2 million, 3.2/5)
FOX: "The Cleveland Show" rerun (4.8 million, 2.8/5)/"The Simpsons" rerun (5.4 million, 3.0/5)*
*FOX also had NFL overruns in some markets
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"60 Minutes" (6.8)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Cowboys-Eagles (18.6 million, 11.1/16)
CBS: "60 Minutes"/"The Amazing Race" (14.2 million, 8.8/13)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" (11.6 million, 6.8/10)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (8 million, 4.3/6)/"Allen Gregory" premiere (4.7 million, 2.7/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.2)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (21.25 million, 12.8/19)
CBS: "The Amazing Race"/"The Good Wife" (10.1 million, 6.5/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (9.3 million, 6.1/9)
FOX: "Family Guy" (6 million, 3.6/5)/"The Cleveland Show" (4.6 million, 2.8/4)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (8.5)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (18.2 million, 11.3/18)
CBS: "The Good Wife"/"CSI: Miami" (10.1 million, 6.7/11)
ABC: "Pan Am" (5.6 million, 3.8/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.6)

Netflix extends streaming deal for ABC content

(10/31/11) Netflix said it has extended its license agreement with ABC Television Group, a division of Walt Disney Co, to continue to stream TV shows over the Internet.

With the extension of the existing license agreement, Netflix will also add new TV show episodes from ABC Studios, Disney Channel and the ABC Family to its existing library, it said in a statement.

Netflix will now also carry episodes of ABC's "Switched at Birth," "Alias" and prior season episodes of Disney Channel's animated series "Kick Buttowski."

Netflix will continue to carry every episode of ABC shows including "Lost," "Ugly Betty,," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Desperate Housewives" and a number of programs from the Disney Channel.

'Pan Am': Blame it on Rio

(10/31/11) Another week comes and goes, and "Pan Am" offers all the intrigue and mystery of a SkyMall catalog. But for those interested in the weekly ongoings of 1963's favorite stewardesses, we have a recap for you.

This week's adventures takes the crew sans Kate (we'll get to her later) to Rio for a couple days of sun and fun. The trip goes horribly awry when Maggie (Christina Ricci) and Laura (Margot Robbie) get arrested for buying stolen merchandise from a street vendor. This lands the two in a Brazilian jail for a good portion of the episode. While in the clink, Maggie has a chance to reflect on the life decisions that landed her in this predicament. It's not the most compelling of a back story, but at least her character now has a bit of depth. We're also exposed to a nefarious side of Maggie as she must engage in underhandedness to keep her job.

While everyone else is off gallivanting, Kate (Kelli Garner) stays in New York and begins spying on her Yugoslavian diplomat boyfriend Nico Lanza (Goran Visnjic). The CIA wants to know more about this gentleman and Kate has the access. While the Feds are first coy about their motivations, they ultimately reveal they think they can turn him into a U.S. operative. Kate is understandably apprehensive about it, but the previews indicate she has a change of heart on the matter.

Dean (Mike Vogel) and Ginny's (Erin Cummings) semi-torrid affair takes a brief pause while she's busy playing the role of mistress to a Pan Am Vice President. This draws disappointment from Dean who feels he's ultimately going get the short end of the stick. But we later find out that she's in love (after just a few dates?!) with Dean. As for how he'll react to this news, we'll have to wait until next week.

You're now free to move about the cabin.

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011

(10/24/11) A blowout win for the New Orleans Saints over the Indianapolis Colts sent "Sunday Night Football's" ratings down quite a bit and propelled FOX to a win with the World Series Game 4, as it had more than 2 million viewers over what the World Series had been averaging so far. ABC's new fairytale drama "Once Upon a Time" had a strong premiere at 12.8 million viewers, beating Sunday Night Football in their shared timeslot.

FOX won the night with 14.6 million viewers and an 8.8 rating/14 share in households, followed by CBS at 10.5 million and a 6.7/10, NBC at 9.6 million and a 5.9/9 and ABC at 8.6 million and a 5.3/8. Those numbers will change when the adjustments for live sports are factored in.

FOX also won the adults 18-49 demographic with a 4.4, followed by NBC at 3.8, ABC at 2.6 and CBS at 2.3

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (17.6 million viewers, 10.5/17 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (12.7 million, 8.1/13)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.6 million, 3.8/6)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (5.3 million, 3.3/5)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"The OT" (5.8)

8 p.m.
FOX: World Series Game 4, Cardinals-Rangers (13.99 million, 8.4/13)
ABC: "Once Upon a Time" premiere (12.8 million, 7.4/11)
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Saints-Colts (11.3 million, 7.1/11)
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (9.9 million, 6.1/9)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (4.4)

9 p.m.
FOX: World Series Game 4, Cardinals-Rangers (13.7 million, 8.2/12)
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (12.1 million, 7.3/11)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (9.6 million, 6.3/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (9.2 million, 5.2/8)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (4.9)

10 p.m.
FOX: World Series Game 4, Cardinals-Rangers (13.1 million, 8.1/13)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (9.8 million, 6.4/10)
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (9.5 million, 5.9/10)
ABC: "Pan Am" (5.8 million, 4.0/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.3)

'Pan Am': The road to nowhere

(10/24/11) So much dialogue, so little action. Another week of "Pan Am" comes and goes and there's very little to report.

[Spoiler alert isn't really the right term, as not much happened.]

Kate's (Kelli Garner) spy missions are getting slightly more complex, but just barely. She's gone from being an international courier to being an international waitress, as this week's mission is to get the fingerprints of a Soviet agent. To do so, she needs to befriend a Yugoslavian diplomat played by Goran Visnjic to get her in the door of a high-class casino. Perhaps the most curious part is we find Kate doesn't even get paid for her spy activity. You get what you pay for.

In another marginally-compelling story, Dean (Mike Vogel) begins dating a lovely woman named Ginny (Erin Cummings) whom he meets on the flight. But when we find out she's the mistress of a Pan Am Vice President, Dean wonders whether this might be a problem for his career. If the previews are any indication, the answer is a definite maybe.

Laura (Margot Robbie) seeks to close the chapter on her almost wedding by returning the engagement ring to her former fiancee. But there's a bit of a wrinkle that Ted (Michael Mosley) helps her through.

The take-off on this flight seems to be permanently delayed.

Goran Visnjic Gambles With Romance and Politics on Pan Am

(10/22/11) Poor Kate. It's difficult to juggle a love life when you're a jet-setting stewardess and undercover spy. Luckily, Goran Visnjic, who once played Dr. Luka Kovac on ER, has the remedy for Pan Am's lovelorn flight attendant.

Beginning Sunday (10/9c on ABC), Visnjic will play debonair Yugoslavian diplomat Niko Lonza, who takes a personal interest in Kate (Kelli Garner) on a flight from New York to Monte Carlo. The precocious redhead has had a hard time of it lately; the CIA put her on notice for disobeying orders and her younger sister Laura (Margot Robbie) moved out. It's perfect timing to begin a new, ego-boosting relationship, even if it doesn't begin in the most romantic way.

"Just before she gets on the plane, she gets this assignment," Visnjic tells "Her CIA handler gives her a photo of Niko and he tells her, 'This is the guy who's going to help you get inside that casino in Monte Carlo, but he can't know what's going on. You just need to befriend him and use him to get inside this casino.'"

Once Kate finishes her assignment, she finds Niko again and begins their love affair in earnest, without orders this time. "She thinks that she's no longer putting Niko in any kind of danger from the CIA since he wasn't part of the actual assignment, but just a tool to get inside the casino," explains Visnjic. "That's why she thinks it's OK to fall in love with this guy because the CIA is apparently not interested in him."

Politically, Kate shouldn't have had anything to worry about by getting involved with Niko. Visnjic says, "[The writers] wanted to bring a character in who was going to be from a communist country in 1963, but also politically neutral because Yugoslavia at the time was not part of the Iron Curtain. He works in the UN and lives in New York."

As their relationship deepens over the course of a four-episode arc, they enjoy intimate interludes as well as light-hearted dates, such as one outing at an amusement park. "That was in an episode when they get back from Monte Carlo," Visnjic says. "You believe that these two people might have a beautiful future ahead of them."

Unfortunately, Kate is new to the spy business and doesn't actually know the deeper game at stake. "Right after that, something hits the fan and all hell breaks loose for them," says Visnjic. "The CIA gets involved with their relationship and also the Yugoslavian Secret Service. It gets really political and this love story turns into a spy story. It's quite intricate. Things are never as simple as they look."

The actor doesn't go into detail, but apparently Niko and Kate aren't destined to take a Pan Am flight on their honeymoon anytime soon. "I can't tell you much, but it's an interesting ending, a story of betrayal and a love story," says Visnjic. "It's not going to end well." Poor Kate.

Pan Am airs on Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

Are you psyched to see Goran Visnjic back on TV? How are you liking the espionage aspect of Pan Am? Why can't Kate just be happy?

Goran Visnjic's arc promises a torrid affair and political intrigue

(10/21/11) Could it be that after a bumpy start ABC's "Pan Am" is finally headed in the right direction? If the upcoming role of Goran Visnjic is any indication, the answer may just be "Yes."

The former "ER" doctor is joining the period drama for four-episode arc starting Sunday (Oct. 23) where he will play an Yugoslavian diplomat who has an affair with CIA agent-in-training Kate (Kelli Garner).

The two meet on a flight to Monte Carlo. Kate's assignment is to befriend Visnjic's character Niko Lonza as a way to get inside a casino. After her mission is complete, they're both smitten and begin to see each other.

But as Visnjic explains, "Things get a little bit more complicated, and we figure out that it wasn't so simple...the CIA and the Yugoslavian Secret Service have much, much more to do with these two than they realize."

It's just this kind of mystery and intrigue Kate's role as a spy has been lacking in the early weeks of the series. Up until now, she's simply acting as an international courier. But this could help bolster interest and ratings for a show that's been languishing in both categories.

Visnjic says his episodes are "kind of like a spy novel...and then the more we progress with their [Kate and Niko's] relationship, we see problems...and then politics come in."

As for how the relationship ends, Visnjic wouldn't say other that to note, "It's got a bit of a sad ending for these two characters. They feel like tragic characters in the end."

Consider our interest piqued.

Erin Cummings To Tweet During Sunday Episode (10/23)

(10/17/11) Erin Cummings ("Detroit 1-8-7") Begins Her Guest Starring Role as the Mysterious Ginny Fans of ABC's popular drama series "Pan Am" will be able to submit questions and receive real-time responses from Erin Cummings, who plays Ginny Saddler. She will be up on Twitter at @ErinLCummings during both the East and West Coast broadcasts of the show on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 from 10:01-11:00 p.m., ET/PT. She will also offer commentary on the exciting action taking place, as well as behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

Fast national ratings for Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011

(10/17/11) A blowout win for the Chicago Bears over the Minnesota Vikings sent "Sunday Night Football's" ratings down some this week, but NBC still scored the evening's best ratings. FOX got big numbers from its late afternoon NFL game too, but those didn't help a special showing of "The X Factor" that much. Its numbers were not surprisingly below average, considering FOX had relatively little time to promote the episode airing away from its usual spot.

ABC, meanwhile, saw "Pan Am's" ratings dip again, while "Desperate Housewives" was basically even with its low numbers from last week.

NBC averaged 12.3 million viewers and a 7.6 rating/12 share in households for the night, beating FOX's 11.6 million and 6.9/11. (The numbers for both networks will change some, however, when the adjustments for live sports are factored in.) CBS took third with 10.2 million viewers and a 6.5/10, while ABC (6.9 million, 4.3/7) trailed.

The Peacock also led the adults 18-49 demographic with a 4.8 rating. FOX came in second with a 4.4. CBS' 2.2 was good enough for third, while ABC came in at 2.0.

Sunday hour by hour:
7 p.m.
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (17.55 million viewers, 10.6/17 households)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (11 million, 7.1/12)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (6.7 million, 4.2/7)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.4 million, 3.7/6)
18-49 leader: NFL overrun/"The OT" (6.7)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Vikings-Bears (14.4 million, 8.8/13)
CBS: "The Amazing Race" (9.3 million, 5.6/8)
FOX: "The X Factor" (8.7 million, 5.1/8)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (7.1 million, 4.3/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.3)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (15.5 million, 9.4/14)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (10 million, 6.5/10)
FOX: "The X Factor" (8.55 million, 4.9/7)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (8.2 million, 5.2/8)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (6.1)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (12.6 million, 7.9/13)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (10.5 million, 6.7/11)
ABC: "Pan Am" (5.9 million, 3.9/6)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.3)

Where Is Pan Am Headed Next? Christina Ricci & Co. Reveal Destinations, Twists and Mile-High Passions

(10/16/11) There is so much to love about ABC's Sunday drama Pan Am, and we're giving you first-class access to this season's plot-twists and love interests. (Be warned, we're going to be experiencing some slight turbulence via airplane puns.)

We recently went to the set of Pan Am and talked to the ladies about what life was like for those stewardesses in 1963: the adventures, the men, and of course the fashion. Plus, the always-adorable Christina Ricci reveals how she's fooling all of America…

"I'm actually not tall enough to be a Pan Am flight attendant, so the other girls wear kitten heels on the flight and I wear full high heels to try and trick the audience," Ricci tells us with a smile. Quite the sinister and evil minx, right? Well, she certainly fooled us!

If you've been following Pan Am like we have, then you already know that the foursome has been to London, Paris, and Berlin. So the only question left is: Where will they be landing later this season?

Margot Robbie, who plays newbie flight attendant Laura, reveals to us that Pan Am will be jet-setting to Rome at the time of the second Vatican Council. "There are a lot of nuns and priests on the plane with us, and there's a funny storyline with this passionate couple in a lavatory." Robbie says, "Laura is stuck with all that, so it's really funny."

While the women are excited to take in the sights and partake in a new adventure, Kate (Kelli Garner) a stewardess doubling as a CIA agent, receives a threatening (and physical) message from another intel agency.

The cool fact about that is Garner's character's deceptive background is based more on fact than fiction. "What is so fascinating to me is you talk to real stewardesses of that time and they go, ‘Oh yeah, that stuff happened all the time.' And you're like ‘Really?!' That just blows my mind."

Another mind-blowing aspect of Pan Am is the insider look we get to a time where a man's inappropriate comments and actions toward women are normal day-to-day behavior. Ricci explains that her character Maggie channels her anger at pig-headed men into sarcasm and wit. "It's really fun to show that this woman in particular was not enjoying the misogyny that existed around her, but her only means of dealing with it at that time was to really give it back to them verbally."

Ricci continues, "She has her, ‘I'm dripping with sarcasm right now' voice when she's talking to people and when she's on the plane and smiling she wishes the person would just die."

While Maggie is more of a strong and direct woman, Collette (Karine Vanasse) is more of the romantic and optimistic one of the group. So far this season we've learned that she typically falls for the wrong men, aka the married type, but Vanasse dishes that a younger man is now vying for her attention.

"In this episode she takes care of a really sweet, charming, a little bit of a trouble-maker, little boy on the plane, but he falls for her and he's twelve, so he's going to learn a lesson tonight." explains Vanasse. Well, inappropriate relationships do make for good TV.

Are you in love with Pan Am's glamorous yet intelligent women like we are? Take off (one last pun, we swear) to the comments and gush away! And tune in tonight for an all new Pan Am at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011

(10/10/11) The defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers helped NBC's "Sunday Night Football" improve on its ratings from last week, and the Peacock once again finished the night on top. Football also inflated CBS' ratings some, while ABC's dramas "Desperate Housewives" and "Pan Am" declined.

NBC averaged 16.2 million viewers and a 10.2 rating/16 share in households Sunday night, beating CBS' 12.1 million and 7.9/12. The numbers for both networks will change some because of the live NFL broadcasts in primetime. ABC came in third with 7.2 million viewers and a 4.7/7. FOX (2.7 million, 1.6/2) was way behind with a slate of reruns after a scheduled American League Championship Series game was rained out.

NBC dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 6.3 rating. CBS finished second with a 3.1, followed by ABC at 2.0. FOX drew a 1.0 in the demo.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.
CBS: NFL overrun/"60 Minutes" (17.75 million viewers, 11.3/19 households)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (8.5 million, 5.4/9)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.6 million, 4.0/7)
FOX: "The Cleveland Show" reruns - two episodes (1.85 million, 1.1/2)
18-49 leader: NFL/"60 Minutes" (5.3)

8 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Packers/Falcons (17.8 million, 11.0/17)
CBS: "60 Minutes"/"The Amazing Race" (11.2 million, 7.2/11)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (7.3 million, 4.5/7)
FOX: "The X Factor" rerun (2.8 million, 1.7/3)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (6.8)

9 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (19.6 million, 12.2/18)
CBS: "The Amazing Race"/"The Good Wife" (9.6 million, 6.2/9)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (8.5 million, 5.7/8)
FOX: "The X Factor" rerun (3.3 million, 2.0/3)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.6)

10 p.m.
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (19 million, 12.1/19)
CBS: "The Good Wife"/"CSI: Miami" (10 million, 6.8/11)
ABC: "Pan Am" (6.4 million, 4.4/7)
18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (7.8)

'Pan Am': Drifting off course

(10/10/11) For a show that started off with such promise, "Pan Am" is hitting a patch of turbulence.

In Sunday's (Oct. 9) episode, the stewardesses travel to Berlin. As fate would have it, they will be there just in time for JFK's famed "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

While in Berlin, Maggie (Christina Ricci) becomes obsessed with finding President Kennedy because she worked as a volunteer on his campaign. Colette (Karine Vanasse), easily the most complex and interesting character, struggles with her return to Germany because her parents were killed by Nazis.

As for the storyline with the most potential, Kate (Kelli Garner) offers little as she begins her work for the CIA. She's simply a courier, which offers all the intrigue of watching a UPS delivery truck. Producers need to amp up her activity quickly and, more importantly, demonstrate something that makes her convincing as a spy.

Perhaps the most ludicrous moment of the episode, if not the young series, takes place as the girls crash a party at the U.S. Mission. They barge their way into an event full of foreign dignitaries and Kennedy himself by introducing themselves as Pan Am stewardesses. Security lets them through, no questions asked.

This exposes the real problem with Pan Am. It's too much about placing these women in interesting times and places, almost like "Forrest Gump" with flight attendants. What it needs to do is focus on the characters and the conflicts between them. And it needs to start doing that soon or "Pan Am" might just be grounded.

Talk Show Appearance

(10/8/11) The View - ABC - Thursday October 20: Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, Karine Vanasse

From Pillbox Hat to Bullet Bra: The Anatomy of a Pan Am Stewardess Uniform

(10/8/11) For Pan Am star Christina Ricci, wearing the airline's iconic '60s flight attendant uniforms not only make her look the part, but also feel the part. And it all begins with squeezing into the historically accurate underwear.

"We have these undergarments that we wear, a girdle and a longline bra," Ricci told reporters in September. "The girdle keeps you from being able to do anything boyish like run or jump or take any large flights of stairs. The longline is a bra attached to a mini-corset so it basically makes you stand up really, really straight. ... You have to walk like a lady at all times, so immediately you're just put into this mindset of 'I'm a lady. I sit a certain way. I walk a certain way.'"

In Sunday's episode "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" (10/9c on ABC), the crew transports journalists to Berlin to cover President Kennedy's speech. No one is more excited than Maggie (Ricci), who had campaigned for him and is determined to meet him in person. For Pan Am costume designer Ane Crabtree, the energy and excitement during that era of possibilities (a fledgling NASA, young and charismatic JFK) is reflected in its youth, such as Maggie, and their fashions. "Pan Am was very hip and cool and of the times," Crabtree tells "They changed with what was happening in fashion."

Check out Crabtree's insights into those tunis blue uniforms, from the tops of their carefully constructed hats, down past the gossamer thin stockings and to the very sensible, not-too-pointy shoes.

What sort of research was involved in recreating these uniforms?

Ane Crabtree: We're so lucky because Nancy Ganis, who is our executive producer and who created this story, was a Pan Am stewardess. We had access to an original uniform [and] every inch was measured and photographed. ... Also, I have maybe every book ever made on the history of airline uniforms, uniforms in general and on airline stewardesses. Finally, we looked at old footage, old documentaries on the airline industry that we can all get online now.

Were the original, real-life Pan Am uniforms designed to be practical versus good-looking? Did they want them easy to clean?

Crabtree: It's all of those things. Any uniform, whether it's military or a flight attendant, a pilot uniform, a janitor's uniform, they had to be practical. For these busy people they created these uniforms that would stand the test of long hours. They would look crisp, and beautiful, and feminine on these crazy long flights. And easy to clean, yes.

Were they designed to project a certain image?

Crabtree: They were looking to project an image of the perfect ladylike representative of Pan Am: chic, quiet, elegant. That bestows confidence on Pan Am patrons, because, don't forget, not a ton of people had been flying for very long [in 1963]. So, there was a heck of a lot more of in-flight worry perhaps.

I love the little hats. Can you tell me about those?

Crabtree: In '63, you weren't allowed to have your hat too far on back of your head, and the hairstyle had to go with that. It was actually supposed to cross the hairline, sort of two fingers above the eyebrow was a perfect place for it to land. That was until the uniform changed in '65 where it sat further back like Jackie O.

What kind of time goes into constructing one the hats? They look very polished.

Crabtree: They're such works of art. The actors are so freaked out by the hat. I'm talking guys and girls are like, "Oh please, please let me try on the hat!" They are so precise and built in the old style of millinery standards. There is one guy in L.A. who makes them. There are tiny, tiny trapunto stitching, rows and rows that I hope you'll be able to see on camera, that form this beautiful shape. The fabric has to be dyed this very, very specific Pan Am tunis blue because it doesn't exist anywhere. And the buttons have to be hand-cast. Starting with Episode 5, we have the very beautiful hatpin on the back of the stewardess cap that was fashioned after stewardess Sheila Riley's personal Pan Am pin she wore on the flight to Berlin.

Besides finding the right shade of blue, what else did you look for in the fabric for the uniforms?

Crabtree: We followed the guideline of the original with a lightweight twill so that it could be versatile for weather and, also, comfortable for the actors. [It is] long-lasting for the incredibly harsh life of the show. [We're] shooting 12 to 18 hours a day and they're wearing them all day. We just needed a good fabric so that we wouldn't make our actors sick, really, with the weather changes.

Then there are those white accents — the blouse and gloves. Aren't they difficult to keep clean?

Crabtree: The blouses are white pique and beautiful, but the fabric is such that it's almost sculptural and goes around the body in that way and doesn't wrinkle very much. The while gloves had to be cleaned and pressed, which is really important because having a million extras — not just the stewardesses — but a lot of folks in white gloves in street clothes, those gloves get so dirty. You can't even imagine the sweat, and makeup, and food. So, they had to be really cleaned, bleached out, all the time.

Christina Ricci discussed the underwear's historical accuracy as well. How important was it to recreate these garments considering the audience doesn't get to see them?

Crabtree: [It's important] to build from the inside out for these actors because it's so psychological. They're very young kids. They were never around in the '60s. There is a different physicality from the '60s to now in how we hold ourselves. And the clothes just fit better [with these undergarments] believe it or not. It's not something that I would readily think of in 2011, but you know with this whole preponderance of Spanx, it makes things better.

The reason for the girdle was so that they didn't jiggle because it wasn't ladylike. The girdle just kept everything very, very close to the body and contained. And when you have a bullet bra on, which is a longline, you didn't want to be poking through your bra if it was cold if you know what I mean. So, those bras were thicker than what we have today. With those bullet bras, you have to stand straight or else you look silly and it ruins the line.

In the pilot, Miss Havemayer (Veanne Cox) warns Colette (Karine Vanasse) against wearing stockings that are too dark. Why is that?

Crabtree: Stockings were to be worn at all times. From one of those old manuals, I read this great quote, "A subdued, light color beautifies and gives a natural good look to the legs." So they didn't want too dark, which is what Miss Havemeyer says in the pilot, and they didn't want too light. They just wanted a subtle, beautiful color on the legs. A dark color wasn't desired because it's too fashion-y or too flashy, too tawdry. It's always sort of rounding back to the not being ladylike effect.

How many pairs of stockings do you go through on the show?

Crabtree: We wear real stockings that don't have stretch. You know stretch would be so much easier, however, stretch will show up as shinier on camera and that wouldn't be true to the period. They need to be sheer, but because they're so sheer and so delicate, they rip. We go through two pairs of stockings per girl, per day. It gets very expensive because they're delicate. We're going up and down stairs a million times, doing all sorts of crazy things. So, you need doubles because they'll shred when you are getting your shoes o

OK, so don't wear your hat far back, avoid dark or ripped stockings and never forget your girdle. What other uniform violations did the stewardesses have to avoid?

Crabtree: The uniform jacket and skirt couldn't be too tight because that would be considered inelegant. It couldn't pull in the bra area. Who would want that? And it couldn't be too tight in the derrière because if it's too tight over the girdle, it shows and you don't want that either. Also, you couldn't have flashy jewelry. You needed a really simple watch and small earrings. The shoes had to be clean and polished. Very military, right? Two to three inch heel, slender, not too pointed. Pointy shoes were in, but they didn't want the severe — what did they called them? — roach killers, which are the pointy ones. Finally, the wings had to be on the left lapel of the stewardess jacket. When the jacket comes off it had to be on the blouse.

Overall, how are the actresses liking these costumes? Is there anyone who particular takes to the uniform?

Crabtree: There's no complaints. They love the uniform, thank God. They're made to measure on the girls [so] they are not uncomfortable. Each has their own pattern for everything: the hat, the bra, the suit jacket, the skirt. I think Karine looks naturally at ease in her uniform, like she was made to be a stewardess, perhaps.

What's the most popular item? Will there be any versions made for fans to purchase?

Crabtree: The most popular item was, and probably still would be, the Pan Am bag because that was a giant thing even before the show began. Those are the calls I get the most: "Can you please hold one for me? Can you find out where I can get one?" I think that's going to be giant as it already is. But, also, I'm getting requests for guys saying, "Where can I get a uniform for my girlfriend? I want her to get married in that and me in a pilot uniform." I kid you not. I think it's going to be giant for Halloween, the whole uniform. Isn't that crazy?

Check out Ricci wearing her uniform in this promo for Sunday's "Ich Bin Ein Berliner":

Pan Am airs on Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

What's your favorite part of the Pan Am stewardess uniform? Would you wear the uniform for Halloween? How about your wedding?


(10/6/11) Fans of ABC's popular drama series "Pan Am" will be able to submit questions and receive real-time responses from Karine Vanasse, who plays Colette. She will be up on Twitter at @karinevanasse during the East Coast broadcast of the show on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, from 10:01-11:00 p.m., ET. She will also offer commentary on the exciting action taking place, as well as behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

On Sunday's episode, "Ich Bin Ein Berliner," when the crew gets a flight taking journalists to Berlin to cover an important speech by President Kennedy, Maggie, who campaigned for him, is determined to meet JFK no matter what. Meanwhile, when her contact's safety is compromised, Kate tries to help the young woman escape East Germany; and painful memories of World War II force Colette to face her tragic past.

Ex-stewardess notes show 'Pan-Am' is a 'soap-opera thing'

(10/5/11) ( The attraction used to be, "Join the Navy and see the world."

Catherine (Wilson) Dau signed up and saw the world, too.

She was a stewardess for Pan-Am - a company that was in business from 1927-1991 - and said she just had to watch ABC-TV's new series, "Pan Am," which debuted Sept. 25.

"I watched it in self-defense," Dau said, noting a lot of her friends who know she was once a stewardess asked her to comment on it.

"It was a soap-opera thing," she noted.

"We really did work hard," she said of stewardesses of the past, who frequently engaged in chit-chat with passengers, even handing them ashtrays, because smoking was allowed on flights, then, and it was several decades before laptops and iPods.

A native of Scotland, Dau said she was attending college there in 1957 and planning to someday be a secretary when she accompanied a friend, who had been enticed by an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald seeking stewardesses.

She found herself in an interview with her friend, and they asked when Dau wanted an interview, which was something she hadn't planned on. Dau rationalized that although her sights on a career were set elsewhere, this just might be a good opportunity to see what an interview would be like.

It must have gone well; she was among seven Scottish girls selected by Pan Am to fly to New York for training.

"It was originally called a hostess," she says of the position. "You used to have to be a nurse, but they had to cancel that because they couldn't find enough. Knowing another language (she knew French) was a plus."

She remembers landing at Idlewild Airport (Remember, JFK had yet to be elected, much less assassinated) in New York City, and being handed a map to help her figure out the subway routes.

She didn't drive a car until much later in life, about 1975. They also told her where to be early the next day.

After a six-week training session, during which she learned how to cook (for first-class passengers), she found herself being assigned to international flights - Pan Am didn't have domestic flights - on propeller planes.

"I thought I'd do it for two years," she said. It turned into a nearly 14-year career, 10 years in the air and three-and-a-half at the flight service office, after breaking a leg while learning how to ski.

Among the passengers she served were Sir Edmund Hillary - "He sat in economy and never opened his mouth," she recalled - and Charlton Heston.

"I was more inclined to empathize with the poor souls immigrating from Egypt (and other foreign nations)," she said.

Her only real "close call" came, not from a bad landing, but not knowing where the fire extinguisher was on a DC-7 (or DC-8) when quizzed by a pilot before a flight. Dau thought she was on the other type of plane and answered thusly. She was nearly pulled from that flight and replaced, she said.

It turned out to be a great way to earn a living - and see the world.

Dau has great memories, plus souvenirs and some 2,000 slides of visits to exotic ports of call throughout the world.

"I loved the travel; I loved using my languages, French and German," she said.

Her favorite place to visit?

"Anywhere in Europe," she said, although she also knows her way around Istanbul, Beirut and Hong Kong, and has enjoyed visits to Peru, Greece, Cambodia and Japan. She still has fond memories of donkey-riding in the mountains of Iran, followed by a picnic.

"There was always something to do," she said. "Vacation was one-month long; I looked forward to it. You paid 10 percent of the ticket (to fly anywhere Pan Am went).

"Meeting different cultures" was her career highlight, she said. "Personally, I never had any problems (with passengers)."

Nor did she have a problem with a particular flight engineer, who became her husband.

"He was westbound, I was eastbound," Dau said. "His flight was delayed by fog. I was serving tea for my crew, and he was in uniform."

Enticed by AMREP, the couple bought a lot in Corrales Heights in 1970, had a home built on it and moved here in 1971.

Her husband passed away a decade ago, but Dau has managed to maintain a lively lifestyle.

She volunteers some time at a downtown Albuquerque rescue mission and Esther Bone Memorial Library, walks daily, organizes monthly brunches for a slew of friends and stays in touch with numerous friends, including her roommate from her Pan Am training session in the Big Apple.

"I've graduated to email," she beamed, although she still writes letters to friends who are not computer literate.

"I'm interested in so many things," she said. "I certainly don't feel 76 (years old). I've been lucky with my health - mental attitude is a great thing. There's no reason to be bored."

Don't be surprised if you hear Dau has tuned in again to "Pan Am" on TV, although she rarely turns her TV on, except to watch the news.

"I'm so grateful I got what I did," she said, happy to rekindle those up-in-the-air memories.


(10/4/11) There was a Pan Am category on 'Jeopardy' tonight featuring clues read by Christina Ricci (Maggie), Kelli Garner (Kate), Karine Vanasse (Colette) and Margot Robbie (Laura).

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011

(10/3/11) The football is in full swing, and with that, NBC's domination of Sunday ratings continue. The match-up wasn't a terribly tight game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets, but it's still football, and that's often good enough.

Perhaps the biggest winner of the night was "60 Minutes" which boasted an audience bump of 6 million viewers over last week, mostly due to the retirement of their famed commentator Andy Rooney. The other interesting story to follow was the performance of ABC's new retro-drama "Pan Am." The show slid from last week's 10.9 million viewers to 7.7 million this week.

NBC led the night with 14.6 million viewers and a 8.9 rating/14 share in households. CBS followed with 12.9 million (8.0/13). ABC took third with 7.6 million (4.7/7). FOX was in last with 5.8 million (3.3/5).

NBC also led the adults 18-49 demographic, with a 5.9 rating. CBS was second with 3.1, FOX took third with 2.7 and ABC brought up the rear at 2.3.

Sunday hour-by-hour:
7 p.m.:
CBS: "60 Minutes" (17.4 million, 10.7/18)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (8.1 million, 4.9/8)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.4 million, 3.8/6)
FOX: "The Cleveland Show" rerun (6.3 million, 3.7/6)/"The Simpsons" rerun (4.5 million, 2.6/4)
18-49 leader: "60 Minutes" (4.5)

8 p.m.:
NBC: "Football Night in America" (12.5 million, 7.5/12)/ "NBC Sunday Night Football" (19.1 million, 11.5/17)
CBS: "The Amazing Race XIX" (13 million, 7.8/12)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (7.1 million, 4.2/6)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (6.1 million, 3.4/5)/"The Cleveland Show" (5.5 million, 3.0/5)
18-49 leader: "NBC Sunday Night Football" (7.5)

9 p.m.:
NBC: "NBC Sunday Night Football" (18.4 million, 11.2./16)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (10.1 million, 6.7/10)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (9 million, 5.8/8)
FOX: "Family Guy" (6.9 million, 4.0/6)/"American Dad" (5.7 million, 3.3/5)
18-49 leader: "NBC Sunday Night Football" (7.5)

10 p.m.:
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (16.2 million, 10.0/16)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (10.5 million, 6.8/11)
ABC: "Pan Am" (7.7 million, 5.0/8)
18-49 leader: "NBC Sunday Night Football" (7.0)

Fast National ratings for Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

(9/26/11) Yet again, NBC's Sunday night NFL match-up -- the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts -- surpassed the rest of the prime-time line-up to win the Sunday night ratings war. The Steelers' last-minute win in a close game surely helped to goose viewership.

FOX -- with the return of their animation domination Sundays -- and ABC -- with the debut of the retro-drama "Pan Am" -- managed respectable numbers. But if football wasn't part of the equation, CBS -- with a strong "60 Minutes," "Amazing Race," "Good Wife" and "CSI: Miami" line-up -- would have won the night.

NBC led the night with 14.9 million viewers and a 8.9 rating/14 share in households. CBS followed with 10.9 million (6.9/11). Next up, FOX with 9.5 million (5.5/8). ABC landed last with 8.7 million (5.6/9).

Not surprisingly, NBC also led the adults 18-49 demographic, with a 5.9 rating. FOX took second with 4.4, CBS third with 2.5 and ABC last at 2.4.

Sunday hour-by-hour:
7 p.m.:
FOX: "The OT" (15 million, 8.7/14)
CBS: "60 Minutes" (12.6 million, 8.0/13)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (7.2 million, 4.4/7)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (5.4 million, 3.5/6)
18-49 leader: "The OT" (6.2)

8 p.m.:
NBC: "Football Night in America" (17.4 million, 10.2/16)
CBS: "The Amazing Race XIX" (10.5 million, 6.4/10)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8.8 million, 5.3/8)
FOX: "The Simpsons"/"The Cleveland Show" (7 million, 4.0/6)
18-49 leader: "Football Night in America" (6.7)

9 p.m.:
NBC: "Football Night in America" (18.1 million, 10.7/16)
CBS: "The Good Wife" (10.5 million, 6.8/10)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (9.8 million, 6.2/9)
FOX: "Family Guy"/"American Dad" (6.7 million, 3.8/6)
18-49 leader: "Football Night in America" (7.4)

10 p.m.:
NBC: "Football Night in America" (16.7 million, 10.3/16)
ABC: "Pan Am" series premiere (10.9 million, 7.2/12)
CBS: "CSI: Miami" (9.9 million, 6.4/10)

'Pan Am' review: ABC's sunny period pies flies high

(9/25/11) Two network series debuting this fall take place in 1963 and are clearly inspired, at least in part, by "Mad Men." Viewers have already weighed in on "The Playboy Club" at NBC, and the verdict was not a very favorable one.

I'm hoping that's not the case with "Pan Am," which premieres on ABC Sunday (Sept. 25). It's not only a much better show than "The Playboy Club," but it's also one of the better new drama pilots premiering this season, period.

Stylish, well-produced and just plain fun, "Pan Am" is kind of like "Mad Men's" sunnier, more optimistic cousin. Which is not to say the show is in "Mad Men's" league dramatically; in terms of tone, though, it takes a much brighter view of the possibilities of the early 1960s, for women in particular and America in general.

It centers on four stewardesses working a transcontinental flight on a brand-new Pan Am jet. Kate (Kelli Garner, "My Generation") has been flying for a few years, but her younger sister Laura (Margot Robbie) -- who with Kate's help ran away from her wedding -- is only in her first month on the job, although she's already made the cover of Life magazine. Bohemian Maggie (Christina Ricci) is also a veteran, slightly rebellious but happy to have a job that lets her travel the world. Colette (Karine Vanasse) is French, worldly and taken aback when a passenger she had an encounter with in Rome a few months earlier boards the flight with his wife and son.

They're joined on the crew by Dean (Mike Vogel, "Cloverfield"), an earnest young pilot who's just been bumped up to captain, and co-pilot Ted (Michael Mosley, "Scrubs"), who, it would appear, is in it for the girls.

At first blush, the characters are more types than fully rounded people, but each of the four women and Dean also have pieces of their back story filled in via useful flashbacks to the recent past. Their performances, too, are all pretty solid and hint at greater depth to come.

Creator Jack Orman ("ER") also throws in a little intrigue, with Kate being recruited for a little Cold War espionage work, with this flight being her first test. Far-fetched though it may be, it's a wrinkle that could serve the show well -- you'd figure there's only so much to wring from the interaction between pilots, stewardesses and passengers.

Like "The Playboy Club," "Pan Am" is selling both nostalgia (for a more optimistic time, for a time when air travel was considered glamorous) and the idea that the job these women are doing was an early salvo in the battle for liberation. The nostalgia part works -- even for someone who wasn't alive to experience it firsthand. Given what air travel is today, it's a little hard to get your head around how spacious and welcoming the Pan Am clipper's cabin looks, and man would it be nice if it were still that way.

The feminist argument is a little tougher sell -- we learn in the pilot that flight attendants had regular weigh-ins, that girdles were part of the uniform, and that they were aged out at 32. But it's a lot easier to see why a woman in the early '60s would see a career as a stewardess as a way up (the women of Pan Am were also college-educated and at least bilingual) than, say, serving drinks at a men's club.

"Pan Am" is also great to look at thanks to typically strong direction from Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Sports Night") and great production design. It's definitely a flight worth booking.

"Pan Am" premieres at 10 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC.

'Pan Am': The ticket to beautiful nostalgia

(9/23/11) Come fly with ABC.

Not, TV forbid, on some overcrowded, underserviced, fee-laden flying bus where the staff got up on the wrong side of the bed and the passengers look like they just got up. No, ABC wants to take you back to those golden 1963 birth-of-the-jet-age days, when flight attendants were young, female, beautiful and still called stewardesses; passengers were smartly dressed and well-behaved; and everyone thought they were headed for a glamorous international adventure.

Or so they say. If Pan Am is peddling nostalgia, it's nostalgia in its most vicarious form. Even most of us old enough to remember the early days of air travel never actually experienced it; flying was beyond the reach of most Americans, particularly on Pan Am's international routes.

Still, the show isn't selling history. It's selling contrast — that stark difference between what we know flight is like now and what we imagine it was like then. This is a series where surface is substance, and surfaces don't come much dreamier than in this beautifully realized flight fantasy, from its lovely, terror-free airport to its even lovelier cast.

Indeed, even if the show quickly fades, the image of the star stews walking to their streamlined airplane, uniforms crisp, purses perched on turned-out arms, is likely to linger.

There is, however, more to Pan Am than pretty pictures, as you'd expect from a show piloted by ER's Jack Orman and The West Wing's Tommy Schlamme. The theme is that the jet age was also the dawn of a new age for women, giving them freedom and opportunities they never had before. And Pan Am's off-to-foreign-shores stewardesses, cut loose from the bonds of family and busybody neighbors, made the most of it.

Aside from having a far better basis in truth than the ridiculous similar claims made by NBC's Playboy Club (many of today's workplace protections for women were won in court by stewardesses), it also provides opportunities for old-fashioned, coffee-tea-or-me fun. And when Pan Am is at its best Sunday, fun is exactly what you get.

That happens most often when the show centers on the romantic and workplace adventures of its four main female crewmembers: Maggie (Christina Ricci), Collette (Karine Vanasse), Kate (Kelli Garner) and the newcomer, Lara (Margot Robbie). Their plots range from soapy to funny — and then back to soapy — but with one notable exception, they keep the entertainment airborne.

Unfortunately, Pan Am stalls when it moves to the male characters (one of whom, Capt. Dean, is now being played by Mike Vogel in an unpreviewed switch). And it doesn't work at all during that exception, a silly stew-spy subplot that plays like a bad parody of Cold War fiction.

We don't need genius from a show that looks this good. Just don't give us a plot so dumb it brings us crashing back to earth.

Surely that's not too much to ask of Pan Am.

Pan Am
ABC, Sunday, 10 ET/PT
* * * out of four

Coffee, Tea or Nostalgia?

(9/22/11) Younger siblings know how hard it is to live up to a gifted firstborn.

Any series that sets itself in the early 1960s is going to have to slink around the reflection of “Mad Men.” This season there are two: “The Playboy Club” and, beginning on Sunday, “Pan Am,” an ABC drama about stewardesses back when jet travel was glamorous, and so was serving drinks at 30,000 feet.

As a premise “Pan Am” sounds foolhardy, a knockoff that can’t possibly live up to the original, like a network trying to copy “The Sopranos” with a series about a ring of car thieves in Indianapolis.

The difference is that “Pan Am” romanticizes the past, whereas “Mad Men,” on AMC, takes pleasure in slyly mocking antiquated mores. Secretaries at Don Draper’s ad agency marvel at an electric typewriter, a mom at a pastoral family picnic tosses the trash onto pristine park grounds, a child who plays with a dry-cleaning bag is scolded, not for the risk, but for mussing the clothes inside. “Mad Men” evokes nostalgia for a careless, less restrictive way of life, floating on a permissive wash of sex, booze and cigarettes, but it never stops sending up the naïveté and backward biases of those times.

“Pan Am” takes place in New York, Paris and London, and practically every scene is shot in lush, golden light. The series is a paean to a more prosperous and confident era; even an airline terminal looks like a movie dream sequence about 1960s heaven.

“Mad Men,” which returns for a fifth season next year, is unquestionably a far better show, but “Pan Am,” like “The Playboy Club,” which began on NBC this week, may be a more accurate reflection of our own insecurities. When the present isn’t very promising, and the future seems tapered and uncertain, the past acquires an enviable luster.

“Mad Men” is veined with injustices: the way women are overlooked, blacks are ignored and Jews despised. “Pan Am” takes a more forgiving look at the 1960s. Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am stewardess, is an executive producer and appears to have looked back at her youthful escapades with a softening lens: a little like Helen Gurley Brown, who shocked people at the height of the Anita Hill sexual-harassment controversy with her fond memories of office panty pranks.

Some blatant forms of sexism are gently tweaked on “Pan Am” but with more affection than regret. Female flight attendants have mandatory weigh-ins and a matron slaps one employee on the fanny to make sure she is wearing a girdle. But the young women who submit do so with a smile; petty airline rules are a small price to pay for the newfound freedom to travel and seek adventure. A pilot, observing the crew’s laughter and confidence, admiringly tells another that these young women form “a new breed.”

Viewers may not see anything particularly fresh about this show’s foursome of stewardesses, however. The “Pan Am” heroines represent the dawning of the women’s movement, and they are not fully formed characters so much as stick figures borrowed from a Rona Jaffe novel.

Christina Ricci plays Maggie, a closet beatnik who wears the Pan Am uniform to see the world but at home listens to jazz and studies Marx and Hegel. Colette (Karine Vanasse) is French and carefree, until she discovers that her latest lover is a married man. Kate (Kelli Garner) is smart and ambitious, and she dreads being overshadowed by her pretty younger sister, Laura (Margot Robbie). Laura, a runaway bride who follows her sister into the airline business, is so gorgeous that Life magazine puts her picture on its cover article about the Clipper Age. “With a face like that you’ll find a husband in a couple of months,” a fellow stewardess tells her. But Laura and the others are looking for adventure and romance, not marriage.

ABC is the home of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Bachelor,” so the emphasis on “Pan Am” is not traffic control or air safety. The show does try to broaden the story with a few cold war subplots: a Pan Am flight crew is assigned to help retrieve survivors of the Bay of Pigs disaster in Castro’s Cuba; British counterintelligence agents use airline employees to spy and pass secrets. Mostly, though, the espionage feels like padding, a way to assure viewers that they are not just watching early prototypes of Carrie Bradshaw and her posse — “Sex and the Cockpit.”

If only for the costumes and ’60s music, “Pan Am” is amusing to see at least once, but if it has any instructive benefit at all, it’s as a mood indicator for these times, not those. There have been plenty of series set in earlier times — “That ’70s Show” was set in the Carter administration, “M*A*S*H” took place during the Korean War. But usually period shows pick through the past to meditate on the present, whether it’s examining generational rites of passage or critiquing the Vietnam War at a safe remove.

“Pan Am” doesn’t say much of anything about the current state of the nation except that our best days are behind us.

'Pan Am': First-class flight back to 1960s glamour

(9/22/11) They could have called it a stage or a studio, but the term they prefer is "the hangar."

Why not? Handily adjacent to Brooklyn's Steiner Studios lot is a cavernous storage shed now used for housing a key component of ABC's new series, "Pan Am": the jet plane.

That is, the life-size mock-up of a jet plane's passenger compartment. Mounted on a platform 5 feet off the concrete floor is the "fuselage" (no wings or tail) of the show's proud Boeing 707 whose interior, in contrast to the raw shell of this plane-length tube, is designed in period-perfect detail that harkens back to the early 1960s — the dawning era of commercial jet flight when the luxury airline Pan American World Airways flourished and when "Pan Am" takes place.

Two dozen "passengers" (the male extras crisp in their business suits, which is how men clad themselves for air travel in those days) are queued to enter the fuselage's lopped-off aft to populate the next shot.

Also ready to board: the stewardesses. Played by Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Karine Vanasse and Margot Robbie, they, of course, are the real stars of "Pan Am."

Debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT, "Pan Am" is a globe-spanning melodrama set in the Kennedy presidency, with all its romance, glamour and excitement for a new, ascendant age (plus a bit of the cloak-and-dagger: one of the stewardesses is drafted by the government to be a spy).

"I had an image for the first episode of the show," says Thomas Schlamme, an executive producer who also directed the premiere. "The stewardesses' high heels clicking on the tarmac, with a little girl watching from the gate with admiration."

Look for something like that in the premiere.

Schlamme says he knew the series would be received with misgivings that it was somehow sexist. As expected, early voices have been raised that "Pan Am" perpetuates pre-feminist stereotypes.

"I want to turn the stereotype on its head," he says. "These stewardesses were really a fascinating group of people."

And, befitting a producer of past series such as "Jack & Bobby" and "The West Wing," Schlamme adds that he wants to infuse "Pan Am" with an element of patriotism, as if to say: "This is what we were able to do in America — and we still can."

If only! Just one tiny clue to the distant can-do spirit "Pan Am" chronicles: Here in the hangar is Nancy Hult Ganis, an executive producer and former Pan Am stewardess, who is instructing a prop assistant on how to prepare a Tom Collins (with the requisite orange slice and maraschino cherry) according to the rigorous standards of a vintage Pan Am stewardess manual. And a treat for "passengers" in a scene the next day: escargots with melon and prosciutto.

The show is dazzling to watch, with a huge assist from computer-graphics imagery: Much of the multilevel Worldgate terminal, and even the 707's sleek exterior, are virtual, as is the sprawling tarmac, all of which are shot with green screen in Steiner's Studio 3.

Even so, the stewardesses are flesh-and-blood and lovely. (And, yes, lily-white, since the series begins in 1963. But its color barrier will be broken as "Pan Am" tracks the civil rights struggle along with other unfolding world events.)

"I feel like these are extremely modern women of their time," says Kelli Garner, who stars as Kate, the adventurous spy-initiate. "Although they might have had to be beautiful and serve men coffee, what they got from this opportunity was also beautiful and empowering."

Waiting in the hangar for her next scene, Garner looks classy and curvy in her blue twill Pan Am uniform.

"I think the uniforms cover so much, and are still so beautiful and sexy," she declares.

And they're evocative, as much for her as an actress as for the admiring audience.

"I tuck behind the galley, tugging on my girdle and pulling down my skirt," she says. "I'm sure stewardesses did the same thing and felt just as uncomfortable back then. But I actually really like it. It makes me feel like I'm one of them.

"We have the choice as actors to just wear regular pantyhose," she explains, "but we all want the girdle," and, as she says it, she offers a demure peek beneath the hem of her skirt, revealing the girdle's suspender clips for her stockings.

"The uniform brings some gracefulness — a different kind of femininity," agrees Karine Vanasse, who plays Colette, a French-born romantic. "With a costume, details matter. Wearing a thong underneath would be weird."

The ensemble of "Pan Am" also includes Mike Vogel and Michael Mosley, who, as the airliner's dashing pilot and co-pilot, hold forth in the cockpit — a genuine 707 cockpit rescued from an airplane graveyard and grafted to the front end of the fuselage set.

But — stereotypes be damned! — "Pan Am" is not a men's world.

"The voice of the show is very much that of the women," says Christina Ricci, who plays the independent-minded Maggie. "You can't do a show about this period without involving the actual sexism that existed at that time. But the show doesn't glorify the sexism or revel in it. It's more like, 'This is something we have to deal with.' And then we do an eye roll."

That being the case, she says she's savoring her role — or, more accurately, her role-within-a-role.

"I get to play a character who goes to work and plays a different character when she gets there: 'Can I get you another drink, sir?' That's really fun for me."

It fell to costume designer Ane Crabtree to reproduce the stewardesses' uniforms (among the wide range of period clothing), with the challenge of reviving the signature "Pan Am blue" two decades after the airline stopped flying.

What inspired that blue?

"The ocean and the sky, which was mirrored in the Pan Am globe logo and in the world Pan Am served," she said. "I think it's the blue of the great beyond! What else WOULD it be?"

"The uniform is a great acting tool," says Margot Robbie, who plays Kate's winsome younger sister Laura.

On the "Pam Am" premiere, the eye-appealing Kate pops up on the cover of Life magazine for a story headlined "Welcome to the Jet Age." The photo of her, supposedly snapped by chance outside the Pan Am building, grabs huge attention — and a measure of annoyance from her colleagues, since Kate, singled out by Life to represent the Pan Am stewardess, is brand-new on the job

Recalling the photo session for the dummy cover in midtown Manhattan, Robbie says she felt that not only had she stepped a half-century into the past, but transported a bit of the city along with her.

"While I was posing, I saw this elderly gentleman who looked like he was from the '60s, too, in his overcoat and brown hat. He did a double-take and said, 'My God, it IS Pan Am!'

"Yes, sir, it is," I told him, and he smiled and said, 'Ahhh, that takes me back.'"

Starting Sunday, "Pan Am" begins its scheduled flights to take the audience back every week.

'Pan Am's' Christina Ricci: 'I love television'

(9/21/11) Christina Ricci has been a staple of edgy movies for some time, but she's now ready to take flight with a weekly television role.

"Monster" and "Black Snake Moan" are among the testaments to Ricci's knack for unconventional characters, and if she's going to play a more traditional one, at least it jets back about 50 years. The ABC series "Pan Am" premieres Sunday (Sept. 25) with Ricci as a stewardess in the early 1960s, when international air travel still was a new adventure -- though Pan American World Airways would meet its demise in 1991.

"When it's you, you don't have the objectivity to step back and say whether it's a big deal or not," the still-petite Ricci tells Zap2it about making her full-time move to the home screen. "I love television, and I feel like some of the best talent is working in TV right now, from acting to writing and directing. For a while, I've been wanting to be on a show."

Ricci has dipped a toe into that pool on occasion, with extended guest runs on "Ally McBeal" and "Saving Grace." She notes, "I've wanted the experience of being with one character for a long time. I always wondered what that would be like. I'm one of those people who likes to experience a lot of different things, so I think it must be kind of amazing to have a sense of who someone you're playing really is."

"Pan Am" executive producer Jack Orman has given Ricci confidence that she's going in the right direction. "He called me and said, 'Just from the dailies, I can see Maggie coming out and who she's going to be. It's so exciting to see her evolving.' I really wanted that, to feel that person changing. As a TV watcher, I've seen that, and I thought it would just be so much fun as an actress."

The full-scale airplane mockup being used for "Pan Am" is a big help in putting the cast in the right mindset. "You have to have that sense of excitement every time," Ricci reflects. "I always remind myself that the passengers are excited, and you're excited because they are. There are great meals, fresh flowers, the silver is real ... it's a job for the stewardesses, but at the same time, it's meant to be beautiful."

Having flown often, Ricci knows firsthand when travel can lose some of its beauty. "Because I can look really young, I was told one time to get out of first class and use the bathroom in the back of coach," she recalls. "Then I came back to sit down in my seat in first class and they were like, 'What are you doing? We told you to go back to coach.'

"They didn't believe me. I had to show them my ticket, which I luckily could find, because I often throw it away once I'm on the plane. And they still were like, 'What?' Once I showed them my ID, they recognized my name and said, 'Oh.' After that, I kept getting apologies for hours."

Not that Ricci could forgive completely: "One of the same stewardesses kept saying, 'Will you sign an autograph for my daughter?' And I was like, 'Really??'"

Retrofitting the Feminine Mystique

(9/13/11) BUNNY tails, bustiers and white-glove deference. It almost seems like men have gone mad on “Mad Men,” wresting network television backward to the boom-boom, coffee, tea or me 1960s.

Whether it’s the come-hither stewardesses of “Pan Am” on ABC or the bunnies on the NBC drama “The Playboy Club,” or even the rejiggled jiggle TV of “Charlie’s Angels” on ABC, the new fall season seems intent on reliving the days when men were men, and women were girls who didn’t mind getting less pay and having their garters snapped.

It’s tempting to brand all this retro programming as wish fulfillment for network executives trying to ride the success of “Mad Men” to suit their own tastes and universal male fantasies. But it’s not of course. Most of network television nowadays is for women and about women.

And these nostalgic series may be to female audiences what series like “Combat!” and “Band of Brothers” have been for so many men — a chance to relive historic battles in all their glory as well as horror. Many men are fascinated by their predecessors’ exploits and sacrifices at Guadalcanal or the Battle of the Bulge. And plenty of women are increasingly curious about their mothers’ struggles with illegal abortion, men-only clubs and mandatory girdles — “Band of Bunnies.”

The power shift is most obvious in a new wave of sitcoms about young single women. On Fox “New Girl,” which stars Zooey Deschanel, was created by Liz Meriwether, a member of a posse of high-powered Hollywood writers known as “the Fempire.” The comedian Whitney Cummings not only is the star and executive producer of “Whitney” on NBC but also helped write and is an executive producer of “2 Broke Girls” on CBS.

Ms. Deschanel plays an adorable nerd who wraps three male roommates around her little finger. Ms. Cummings’s series showcase heroines who are less postfeminist than pre-Amazon; they are hard-edged sophisticates who don’t expect much from men besides sex, maybe, and who instead find fulfillment in the company of fellow warrior queens, which is to say urban warrior queens who battle cellulite and New York City landlords.

“Apartment 23,” an ABC comedy that is scheduled for midseason, is even more brazen, featuring a semi-sociopath who sleeps with her roommate’s boyfriend and traffics in black market A.D.D. medication. “Anyone want to study like an Asian teenager?” she says, holding up her stash.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, new comedies about men, like “Man Up!” and “Last Man Standing” (both on ABC) and “How to Be a Gentleman” (CBS), mine the humor in emasculation.

The comedies depict the battle of the sexes as a victory for women — a pyrrhic one. The period dramas instead showcase heroines at the dawn of the women’s movement.

There is horror in seeing how dismissively many men treated women back then, but also a kind of pleasure in revisiting — with hindsight — a noble cause played out in a simpler time. Sexism hasn’t been vanquished, obviously, but it has splintered into more subtle, ambiguous channels. Back then it was overt, coarse and overdue for assault.

“Pan Am,” set in 1963 when the airline was a symbol of progress and cosmopolitan savoir faire, has a “Mad Men” gloss: lush cinematography and Buddy Greco singing “Around the World.”

One of the executive producers is Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am flight attendant, who relied on her own experiences. One of the earliest scenes shows the airline’s mandatory weigh-in and a sour-faced matron slapping one of her charge’s fanny to make sure her girdle is on. She warns a sleek French stewardess not to wear dark stockings, saying, “This is not a cabaret.” The stewardesses suffer indignity with accepting smiles, because it’s a small price to pay for freedom of the skies. (One is a runaway bride who couldn’t face a life of suffocating subservience in a pre-Betty Friedan suburbia.)

The male characters are almost comically weak: the married man who cheats, the deadbeat beatnik who can’t tell Marx from Hegel, the insecure co-pilot who demands to be called “first officer.” The women, on the other hand, are filmed in a gauzy haze of golden light as idealists who yearn for adventure and battle limitations with sisterly solidarity. In one shot four of them glide in tight blue uniforms and white gloves through a gleaming Pan Am terminal like the astronauts in “The Right Stuff.” As they pass, a little girl watches them through a glass window, awestruck. They are, as one pilot puts it, “a new breed.”

The same is true of the cocktail waitresses in rabbit ears on “The Playboy Club,” who endure tight corsets and loose manners because the money is good and the opportunities better than back home. And particularly when compared with the desperate blond bubbleheads who wash up at the doorstep of the senescent Hugh Hefner on the reality show “The Girls Next Door,” these fictional bunnies come off as Simone de Beauvoir.

Bunnies supposedly cater to male fantasies, yet on this show the men are almost beside the point. “The Playboy Club” is a Rona Jaffe novel tucked inside a Playboy centerfold: beneath the plunging décolletage and pajama parties at the Hefner mansion lies a tale of female survival and camaraderie under fire. Male viewers may be drawn by the title of the show but it’s likely that they will quickly tune out and turn to the real Playboy channel.

The pull of injustices past helps explain why NBC remade “Prime Suspect,” a British series that dates back to the early 1990s, starring Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, a London homicide detective fighting discrimination in her department as well as killers on the street. Maria Bello is Detective Jane Timoney and the setting is modern-day New York.

The overt sexism is still there, and it is exhilarating to watch the heroine take on and outwit the Neanderthals in her squad — a flashback to “Cagney & Lacey.” Yet all that male hostility, so openly expressed, feels anachronistic. Perhaps to make her colleagues’ rancor more plausible, the new version adds an extra motive, namely that the men know Jane had an affair with her former boss, and assume she used him to gain promotion to their squad. (“The Closer” on TNT, a series that was also modeled on “Prime Suspect,” did the same thing.)

“Boardwalk Empire,” which begins its second season on HBO this month, wallows in all kinds of Prohibition-era excesses, but especially the brutality to women with the temerity to demand the vote.

These shows traffic in nostalgia for a past that was flawed but fixable, and above all familiar. Particularly when our own epoch seems so uncertain and diminished, it’s all the more gratifying to look back at a more navigable time. We can envy earlier generations’ confidence and optimism while gawking at their primitive social mores and constrictive clothing.

“Charlie’s Angels” wouldn’t seem to fit the pattern, since it’s about beautiful women who do martial arts in today’s skimpy outfits, yet the series retrofits a cheesy, ’70s Aaron Spelling show to modern sensibilities. These private detectives still have preposterous work clothes: picture a tall blonde hunting down sex-slave traffickers while wearing a white chiffon romper and stiletto heels.

But they are much harder and meaner than the ones played by Farrah Fawcett-Majors and the other original angels, more Delta Force than Delta Delta Delta.

In the version that was first shown in 1976, the three private detectives were police officers who were rescued from boring desk jobs by their mysterious boss, Charlie. Here the women are reformed criminals, including a former Marine who was court-martialed for a deadly combat mistake.

And it is telling that the only character to appear in a bathing suit in the pilot is Bosley. In the original he was a chubby father figure. In this incarnation he is a young, chest-baring hunk who is treated by the angels with amusement, like an endearing sex object.

Even “Scandal,” coming midseason on ABC, is a present-day series that feels like a period drama. It’s about a glamorous, high-priced political fixer whose clients include the president. This White House looks a lot more like Bill Clinton’s than that of George W. Bush or Barack Obama, however. That’s probably because it’s easier to focus on gender wars in a healthy economy; recessions have a way of eclipsing sexual politics and diminishing sex scandals.

It’s not entirely a man’s world anymore. The new fall shows take women back to a time when they were considered the weaker sex and became all the stronger for it.

Step aside, 'Men,' for the women of 'Playboy Club,' 'Pan Am'

(9/13/11) Not since pencil-skirted secretaries whipped out their steno pads in Season 1 of Mad Men have new TV shows delved so deeply into the changing role of women in the '60s.

Workplace attire may be different on ABC's new Pan Am (Sept. 25, 10 ET/PT) and NBC's Playboy Club (Monday, 10 ET/PT) — think figure-flattering blue stewardess uniforms and pastel Bunny suits — but the question is the same: Is there room for more shows that dissect, in part, the early struggle for workplace respect?

Executive producers for both downplay comparisons to Mad Men and hope for broader appeal. "I think there's an epic nature to the storytelling that's appealing to a mass audience," says Jack Orman, Pan Am's creator, who hopes to inherit the demographic delivered by its Sunday night lead-in, Desperate Housewives.

"I love Mad Men," says Playboy creator Chad Hodge, but "90 seconds into watching the pilot, I don't think people will compare it to Mad Men. For me the show is more like Chicago, Cabaret and All That Jazz."

Pan Am centers on young, ambitious flight attendants and pilots, and the opportunities and pitfalls of the jetliner age. "Female audiences in general are not (only) interested in watching female characters in contemporary surroundings," Orman says. "Look at Jane Austen. There were a lot of problems (for women) in her time. The key is to write strong, smart, funny, empathetic women dealing with obstacles."

Orman says women who chafe at reminders of the era's sexism may identify strongly with the bohemian Maggie (Christina Ricci). "I see her as having an undefined ambition and inherent instinct that this isn't right and pushes back against it."

As with Mad Men, some might find the shows hard to watch, but they can appeal to women, says Stephanie Coontz, author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. "A lot depends on where they go with (them), if they can show the new horizons for women (as well as) the tremendous restrictions."

Hodge places his Bunnies at the epicenter of the controversy surrounding Hugh Hefner's private club, sexual liberation and Playboy magazine. "Our characters talk about these things," he says. "They ask, 'Is this empowering or is it degrading?' You'll see (the show) is about a set of very interesting women with very specific goals, and how they reach them."

Fall TV Preview: Should You Fly the Friendly Skies With Pan Am?

(9/12/11) ABC's retro look back to the heyday of luxury air travel makes us long for free-flowing cocktails, wide aisles and tours of the cockpit. And seeing Christina Ricci on television is nothing to frown at either. With the success of Mad Men, it seems that other networks want to get in on the 1960s craze, and Pan Am does a good job of glorifying the time period. But should you begin boarding Pan Am?

Stow your tray tables, make sure your couch is in the full upright position and find out:

Pan Am (ABC)
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 25, 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI: Miami (CBS), NBC Sunday Night Football (NBC), Homeland (Showtime)
Cast: Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosley, Karine Vanasse, Mike Vogel, Kelli Garner
Status: We've seen the pilot episode.

We're going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the number of travel puns. We just can't seem to help ourselves and blame the high altitude entirely. Buckle up!

ABC's Pan Am gives a look into the enviable lives of the Pan Am stewardess. From the iconic blue uniform to the nostalgia for the days when air travel was new and exciting, Pan Am is an escapist adventure in all the right ways. TV tells us being a stewardess in the 1960s is kind of like an all-access pass to the historical moments. And we learn that jet-setting is mostly glamorous but there are some real life job difficulties, like girdles. And turbulence. And Russian spies.

When any new show is set in the 1960s there will inevitably be comparisons to Mad Men but the time period is where the similarities stop. In Pan Am there's less Don Draper brooding and more hope for the future of the globetrotting smart capable woman.

Pan Am's main focus is on the girls. And why not? There is an array of smart independent women like Laura (Robbie), a runaway bride and accidental face of Pan Am. She's new, beautiful and of course looking to spread her wings and be free from the social constraints threatening to ground her. Laura's sister, Kate (Garner) a veteran, has what we think is the most intriguing storyline: a connection to the CIA. Hello raised stakes! And then there's Collette (Vanasse), a lively French coquette who struggles with love in the high skies. We resisted a mile-high club joke there. You're welcome.

Ricci is the most recognizable face and name of the bunch, unless you are big Justified fan like us and recognize Mosley from his explosive demise. While we may have originally raised our eyebrows at Ricci's casting, she plays the rebel-without-a-cause, artsy girl living in the Village perfectly. But there is more to her than just beatniks and berets. Ricci tells us, "[Maggie's] someone who's really looking for meaning in the world and in life." Ricci says her character "likes to have a good time and knows her way around the world."

Don't worry, ladies: There is an impossibly good-looking pilot to feast your eyes on. Of course there is. Real-life flying enthusiast Vogel plays Dean, the captain of this plane. He's what the kids would call a newbie. Vogel explains: "He's thrust into this role probably 10 to 15 years ahead of schedule, so there's a lot riding on him to prove that he is worthy of the promotion." And by the episode's end, he's nursing a broken heart that may or may not have to do with the aforementioned espionage angle.

The most surprising element of the show is the relationship to the Cold War and the significance of accessibility for well-educated adventurous women and the role they could play as global spy. Was this really a possibility? We don't know for sure. We'll suspend our disbelief for the moment because we understand a TV show can't be just champagne and transatlantic air travel, and Pan Am holds a lot of amazing storyline potential.

Verdict: Watch. It's escapist fun and there are some very fine characters that might intrigue you into a longer layover. We swear that's the last travel pun.

Top New Shows: USA Today

(9/8/11) 7. 'Pan Am' ABC, Sundays, 10 ET/PT, Sept. 25

Welcome back to the jet age.

If the very name Pan Am conjures images of beautiful stewardess and well-dressed patrons flying in gracious comfort to exotic places, this is the show for you. "Come fly with me" nostalgia is Pan Am's stock-in-trade, and the way it packages it is a joy to behold.

The driving idea behind the show, which comes from ER's Jack Orman and The West Wing's Tommy Schlamme, is that the postwar boom brought new freedom to women, and Pan Am's stewardesses made the most of it. Leading the charge is Christina Ricci as a bohemian who endures the weight and girdle requirements to see the world.

As you'd expect from an airborne soap, there are multiple characters and plots, some of which work better than others. The most problematic involves the use of the stewardesses as CIA couriers, which, even if based in fact, comes across here as a parody of bad '60s Cold War fiction.

Looks, Pan Am has by the planeload. If it can add brains to the mix, ABC could be flying high.


(9/7/11) (ABC Press Release) Goran Visnjic ("ER") will check into ABC's highly anticipated new drama series, "Pan Am," for a four-episode arc. The first of his four episodes begins filming September 7 and will air later this fall. "Pan Am" premieres SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Visnjic will play a Yugoslavian diplomat torn politically between his communist background and the freedom and opportunities he's afforded in the west. He'll face a wrenching emotional dilemma when he finds himself attracted to Kate and their romance ends up being more complicated than either ever imagined.

Visnjic will also be seen this December as Dragan Armansky in the Sony feature film "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

'Gilmore Girls' vet to star on 'Pan Am'

(9/7/11) Is this the kind of airline executive who insists his stewardesses stay skinny and chaste? EW has learned exclusively that Scott Cohen — star of USA’s Necessary Roughness who’s also known for his stint as Max Medina on Gilmore Girls — will play a (skeevy?) vice president on Pan Am this fall.

Medina will portray Everett, a Pan Am higher up, for a three-episode arc that will begin during the show’s fourth week. And what do we mean by skeevy? He has a quirky mistress named Ginny Saddler (Erin Cummings), though his character has been described as “a serious man who is light and fun on the surface.”

Pan Am is a ’60s soap following the lives and loves of a team at the legendary airline. The show premieres Sept. 25.

Pan Am displays iconic fashions in L.A. and New York, beginning September 2


Bus Shelters Transformed into Highly-Visual Fashion Showcases in LA and NY

To give viewers an up close and personal look at the stylish and timeless fashions worn by stewardesses in the 1960s, ABC's "Pan Am" will showcase items from the iconic ladies' uniform, ranging from head to toe. Beginning SEPTEMBER 2, bus shelters in the West Hollywood area in Los Angeles and in front of Grand Central in New York City -- among other locations - will be transformed into eye catching museum-displays exhibiting the custom-tailored jacket that gave the stewardesses a streamlined, sexy look, the perfectly-fitted white gloves that left no room for a wedding ring, the black leather, low-heeled pumps that provided comfort without compromising style, and the "Pan Am" blue leather flight bag, which was the perfect bag to carry belongings for a night out on any town they might have just flown into. Topping off this iconic uniform is the always-in-place classic hat. The displays will promote ABC's "Pan Am," one of the highly anticipated new dramas of the fall season.

Scheduled locations, among others, are:
Fairfax and Santa Monica in Los Angeles
42nd St. between Lexington & 3rd Ave in New York City

Ricci dieted for bikini episode

(9/1/11) Actress Christina Ricci opted for a strict diet and a strenuous Pilates regime when she first learned she'd have to strip down to a bikini for an upcoming episode of her new TV show Pan Am.

The former child star, who has battled eating disorders in the past, wasn't about to let viewers see her with her clothes off if she didn't look toned.

She tells Nylon magazine, "We all have to be in bikinis in the second episode (and) some of the girls are like, 'I'm not dieting, screw it!' And I'm, like, totally dieting; I'm eating protein and vegetables and I'm doing my Pilates exercises at night, when I'm watching television.

"My Pilates instructor wrote out three different routines for me. I've worked out, 'OK, this one I can do in my dressing room, and this one in the studio at lunch...'"

But she insists her latest weight loss battle is in no way related to her well-publicized anorexia struggles when she was a teen.

The 31-year-old adds, "I'm not going to punish myself because I don't look like the average person in a bikini... I would actually live on pasta if I could."

Ricci had another problem with the bikini scenes - back acne.

She tells the magazine, "I use (acne cream) Proactiv because the lovely thing about my face now that I'm in my early 30s, I'm ageing, but I'm also dealing with acne, and now - this is disgusting - but I get it on my back. I'm like, 'What am I? A pubescent boy?'"

Bunnies and stewardesses: Fall TV's racy slant

(8/31/11) Here's some good news about the upcoming fall TV season: There will be marked increase in the number of actresses populating new series!

Now, the other news: They appear to have packed pretty light when it comes to wardrobe.

From the tight uniforms sported by the stewardesses on ABC's "Pan Am" and the Alphabet Network's sexy recommissioned "Charlie's Angels" crime-fighters, to the fluffy-tailed servers of NBC's "The Playboy Club," the fashion trend of the season appears to be flesh, and plenty of it. Call it the resurgence of Jiggle TV, a titillating genre that briefly blossomed in the 1970s with the original "Charlie's Angels," before giving way with the exit of "Baywatch."

Though none of the series have yet to debut, the trend of new shows featuring female leads in little clothing and subservient positions has already been met with criticism.

Gloria Steinem, who gained notoriety by going undercover as a bunny at the Playboy Club in New York in 1960s and writing an expose about the working conditions, has said that she's hoping for a boycott of NBC's "The Playboy Club," claiming, "It normalizes a passive-dominant idea of gender. So, it normalizes prostitution and male dominance."

Christine Baranski, co-star of "The Good Wife," has similarly chimed in, telling New York Magazine, "I'm rather appalled that they're now making television shows about Playboy bunnies and stewardesses ... I think, 'Really? Haven't we gone past that, well past that?'"

Apparently not. But why now, in particular, does there seem to be a resurgence in flesh-centric TV fare?

Certainly, AMC's "Mad Men" seems to have loosened the jar lid with its highly successful exercise in flesh-friendly, misogyny-laced nostalgia.

And it might be no coincidence that the upcoming series -- like "Mad Men" -- all have retro elements to them. ("The Playboy Club" and "Pan Am" are both set in the 1960s, while "Charlie's Angels" is a revamp of a 1970s Jiggle TV progenitor.)

Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., the executive director for Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, suggests that, particularly in dour financial times, male viewers -- not to mention the overwhelmingly male decision-makers at the networks -- might be looking to retreat into less complicated, more comforting times.

"In times of economic and social upheaval and difficulty, nostalgia and a longing for an era when life seemed simpler tend to bloom," Lauzen said.

That could be especially true in an era when men -- at least the ones not on TV, anyway -- find themselves losing economic and social ground to the fairer sex.

"As women continue to gain economic, social and political power, there is always some sort of backlash, a desire to put women 'back in their place,'" Lauzen adds.

These programs may reflect that type of wishful thinking."

Naturally, those involved with the series have a different take on the matter. At the Television Critics' Association press tour earlier this month, "Pan Am" star Christina Ricci dismissed cries of sexism, claiming that her series provides "a really great message for young girls and women ... is something that's exciting for these women. We're as excited as the passengers are."

Never mind that the Pan Am stewardesses were subjected to mandatory girdle-wearing and weigh-ins. Or that the trailer for the series prominently features a clip of one of the stewardesses stripped down to her bra as she frantically changes clothes in the back of a taxi.

Similarly, Amber Heard, who portrays Maureen on "The Playboy Club," praised the original Playboy Bunnies as pioneers of women's lib.

" wanted their own fortune and they went out into the work force doing what they wanted to do," Heard told E! Online. "I could not be more empowered by that example, and I think denying women their sexuality is just as chauvinistic, if not worse."

A lofty sentiment -- but one that might fall, um, flat when it comes wrapped in a skin-tight, cleavage-baring Playboy Bunny outfit.

Whether "The Playboy Club" and its ilk serve as crass exploitation or lessons in empowerment wrapped in an attractive package, Lauzen said that there will probably be more of the same coming, particularly if the current trend toward fewer women behind the scenes continues.

"The percentage of women working as writers on broadcast programs plummeted last season, declining from 29% in 2009-2010 to 15% in 2010-2011," she said. "The industry remains mostly male, and these programs may reflect the behind-the-scenes gender ratios."

Looking at the credits for the shows in question, Lauzen noted, "many of the important behind-the-scenes roles on these shows are filled by males."

Indeed, Drew Barrymore's executive-producer role on "Charlie's Angels" stands as a prominent exception to the general rule -- along with Nancy Ganis, a former Pan Am stewardess who serves as an executive producer of "Pan Am."

ABC declined to comment to TheWrap for this story, while NBC and its series producers did not provide comment before publication.

So can viewers look forward to -- or look askance at, depending on the perspective -- reboots of "Three's Company," "The Love Boat" and other jiggle-TV mainstays of yore?

Maybe. But if the new crop of plots and character development end up as skimpy as the outfits, audiences just might decide to bounce elsewhere.

What Are the 10 Most Anticipated New Fall Shows?

(8/30/11) Terra Nova, Ringer and Prime Suspect are the top three most eagerly anticipated new shows, according to users.

Terra Nova, a dinosaur drama produced by Steven Spielberg, stars Jason O'Mara as Jim Shannon, a police officer whose family travels back to prehistoric Earth to save the human race. Stephen Lang co-stars as the pioneer of the new colony.

Ringer marks Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to TV, eight years after Buffy the Vampire Slayer left the air. She plays twins Bridget and Siobhan — the former of whom is a recovering alcoholic and is on the run from some unsavory types. Bridget decides to hide out by assuming the identity of her wealthy twin sis, who is thought to be dead, to survive. But Siobhan also has a bounty on her head.

Prime Suspect, a reboot of the British miniseries, finds Maria Bello in Helen Mirren's Emmy-winning role as a tough-as-nails female detective trying to hold her own against the boys in her precinct.

The 10 most anticipated new shows are:

1. Terra Nova
2. Ringer
3. Prime Suspect
4. Person of Interest
5. New Girl
6. The X Factor
7. Unforgettable
8. Pan Am
9. Charlie's Angels
10. Grimm

More than 3,000 respondents participated in's survey.

Video: Stars on the series premiere

(8/29/11) Actresses Kelli Garner and Margot Robbie sit with Canada AM and say the glamour and sophistication of the 1960s is part of the great appeal of the era, and explain what it was like to get into character for the show based on the popular airline: Video.

From fall's TV crop, Newcomer worth sampling

(8/29/11) "Pan Am" (ABC; premieres Sept. 25). The viewer's first reaction to watching this show might be to burst into tears. Revisiting the glorious dawn of the jet age in 1963, as compared with air travel today, is like comparing the Orient Express with Amtrak. Today's flat-screen TVs on airline seatbacks don't compensate for everything the passenger has lost since those grand days of Pan Am, and this first-class new drama is an eyepopping reminder. It stars Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse as the beautiful stewardesses (one of whom, adding to her awesomeness, is recruited as a government spy). "They don't know that they're a new breed of woman," says one of the dashing pilots (played by Mike Vogel and Michael Mosley) to the other. "They just had the impulse to take flight." On "Pan Am," there's romance, glamour and excitement for a new, ascendant age. And no one has to take off their shoes, until they're back at their hotel, hopping into bed.

TV's crop of new fall shows is touting girl power

(8/29/11) Viewers, it's time to make way for girl power!

Among the two dozen shows premiering this fall on the five major networks, women will be standing tall.

Of course, a debate already rages whether females are liberated or demeaned on certain new shows, namely ABC's "Pan Am" with all those sleek stewardesses and NBC's "The Playboy Club" with its satin dolls.

But that's an argument as old as the term "jiggle TV" harking back to the original "Charlie's Angels" — which, 35 years later, returns to ABC in an updated but no less jiggly version starring tough-but-tantalizing Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor.

In fact, it's an argument as old as television itself.

Premiering 60 years ago this fall, "I Love Lucy" became TV's first enduring scripted series, and it continues to serve as the classic template for sitcoms, despite conflicting views on whether Lucille Ball's zany housewife was a victim of domestic oppression or — as she schemed to break into show biz or expand her world in some other novel way — a pre-feminist subversive. (Maybe both?)

In any case, it's ladies first on the vast majority of new shows this fall — an overwhelming display of gender domination and easily the season's biggest trend.

Women rule on "Pan Am" and "The Playboy Club," which portray the fairer sex in two high-profile jobs that called for beauty, performance and impeccable service, even while offering women a rare chance to get ahead.

"Pan Am," set in 1963, is a melodrama that focuses on stewardesses in their snugly tailored blue twill at the dawning of the jet age. It stars Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse. "The Playboy Club," set in 1961, is a swanky soap centering on the cotton-tailed, look-but-don't-touch waitresses in the original Chicago club. Starring as those Playboy bunnies are Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Naturi Naughton, Leah Renee and, as the Bunny Mother, Laura Benanti.

Neither series has hit the air. But already both shows have been called upon to justify themselves as if, by telling these tales from a half-century ago, they are violating contemporary norms and dealing a retroactive blow to the women's movement — as if any of that were usually a standard against which TV shows are measured.

Many questions on this topic arose at the recent Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles. In one response to eye-rolling reporters, Heard said, "I think it's just chauvinistic to deny women their sexuality."

Defending her show, "Playboy," and its women characters, she continued, "It comes down ultimately to choices. And just like anything else, if there are choices available and they're making the choice, they're not being exploited."

On the New York set of "Pan Am," Garner had a similar message.

"Men and women are equal in so many ways," she said, "but if there's a way that women have a bit more power over men, it's the power of their sexuality if used smartly. And I just wish more women would be OK with that."

Both series celebrate the good life — enjoyed even by those who helped serve it up — and celebrate escape, even for those women.

But whatever the similarities that have linked them thus far in the audience's mind, "Pan Am" and "The Playboy Club" are pretty different from one another. And among the crop of new shows, there are many other varying explorations of girl power, including two series with "girl" in the title.

The CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls" stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as two struggling but plucky waitresses in a down-trodden Brooklyn diner. The Fox sitcom "New Girl" stars Zooey Deschanel as a kookie lass who, seeking solace after a painful breakup, moves in with three single guys whom she drafts as her surrogate brothers.

Even CBS' "A Gifted Man" — which stars Patrick Wilson as a brilliant but all-business surgeon — has a woman at its core: the doctor's dead ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle), who tries to teach him a new brand of compassion from her perspective as a lovely apparition.

Mind you, every new show isn't supercharged with estrogen.

There's a romantic comedy: NBC's "Free Agents" star Hank Azaria gets equal time with Kathryn Hahn as emotionally damaged co-workers who may or may not fall in love.

There's a parenting comedy: NBC's "Up All Night" stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as the working mom and stay-at-home dad of a new baby.

There's a family-that-travels-back-to-prehistoric-times-and-hangs-with-dinosaurs adventure: Fox's much-anticipated "Terra Nova," with the prominent name Steven Spielberg looming large among its credits.

There's Fox's "Allen Gregory," an animated series about a precocious 7-year-old being raised by his father and his father's male life partner.

There's a gritty, paranoia-inducing crime thriller, CBS' "Person of Interest," which stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson as unlikely partners in a preventive brand of vigilante justice.

And in a category of its own, there's Fox's "The X-Factor," the Simon Cowell-produced singing competition.

The elusive nature of manhood is the focus of three new sitcoms.

The three chums of ABC's "Man Up!" are happy enough with their comfortable middle-class lives. But they want to reclaim the manliness of their forefathers as they reinvoke their inner Iron John.

"What do you get a kid turning 13 that says 'I'm a man'?" worries one of the friends, whose son is facing a rite of passage into teenhood.

Suggestions from his pals: "What about a couple of hookers? Or a trash bag full of chicken wings?"

The same concerns continue to plague Tim Allen in "Last Man Standing," his follow-up to "Home Improvement," which premiered 20 seasons ago. Though the character Allen plays this time feels manly enough, he feels threatened by a world going soft — and by his minority status in a household otherwise composed of females.

The tagline for the CBS sitcom "How to Be a Gentleman" is "prude meets dude." David Hornsby, playing an overrefined etiquette columnist, joins forces with Kevin Dillon as his loutish life coach to transform him into more of a he-man.

The world of fairytales has inspired not one but two new series.

NBC's "Grimm" is a police procedural where the bad guys are mythological creatures recognizable as nonhuman only by special criminal profilers such as Nick Burkhardt, a homicide detective in Portland, Ore. (When Little Red Riding Hood goes missing, Nick, played by David Giuntoli, is specially equipped to track down her nonhuman abductor.)

In a much different vein, ABC's "Once Upon a Time" has a fantastical, wondrous tone, and a decidedly woman's touch: Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) squares off against the Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), who has put a curse on the characters of the fairytale world by imprisoning them in the modern real world — namely, the town of Storybrooke, Maine.

There, "time will stop and we will be trapped," Rumpelstiltskin warns Snow White. "No more happy endings." At least, not until yet another woman, Snow White's daughter, shows up to help.

The CW's "The Secret Circle," too, is sparked by the supernatural. A seemingly ordinary teenage girl (Britt Robertson) moves to a high school where her new friends turn out to be descended from powerful witches — and where she discovers her own magical powers.

Also on the CW, Sarah Michelle Gellar (formerly Buffy the Vampire Slayer) returns to series TV in "Ringer" as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the lam and claims the identity of her twin sister — only to learn that her sister's seemingly ideal existence is just as imperiled as the life she's trying to evade.

And that network's third new series, "Hart of Dixie," stars Rachel Bilson as a brand-new doctor who moves from New York to a tiny Alabama town to take over a family practice amid much culture shock.

CBS' "Unforgettable" stars Poppy Montgomery as a police detective with a rare condition that imprints every detail of her life into her memory, where it's available for exact, instant retrieval. This is a help in crime solving, but otherwise a mixed blessing.

Talk about girl power! Not only is Whitney Cummings a co-executive producer of "2 Broke Girls," but this young writer-stand-up-comic is also an executive producer and star of her NBC sitcom, "Whitney," which is billed as "a hilarious look at modern-day love" centering on her and co-star Chris D'Elia, "a happily unmarried couple."

In the ABC soap "Revenge," Emily Van Camp plays a scheming young woman who returns to the moneyed getaway of the Hamptons on New York's Long Island. Adopting a winsome new identity, she means to settle the score with this privileged class for grievous wrongs inflicted years ago on her and her father.

On the ABC comedy "Suburgatory," 16-year-old Tessa (Jane Levy), much to her dismay, is whisked from the temptations of New York City to a new life in the suburbs by her protective father (Jeremy Sisto).

The generation gap, female style, is explored in the Fox comedy "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," starring Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran as single moms who clash with their spoiled offspring.

And Maria Bello stars as a New York City homicide detective trying to penetrate a man's world in NBC's Americanized "Prime Suspect," whose 1990s British original, starring Helen Mirren, remains one of TV's best-ever dramas.

Detective Jane Timoney is ambitious, abrasive and stubborn — qualities that don't endear her to the male-dominated precinct house where she has just been transferred.

Surrounded in the squad room by her co-workers, she is subjected to a sneering lecture on the precinct's "beef trust," men who do the real police work: "knock on doors, follow leads, hear the words on the street. Because the beef trust can't flutter their eyelashes. All the beef trust can do is the work."

Well, they talk tough. But the beef trust can't overwhelm Timoney. Just one of the TV sisterhood awaiting viewers, she has plenty of company this fall.

Sony TV Aims for Prime time

(8/29/11) In October 2001, an exasperated Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony, ordered a substantial downsizing at the company’s studio here.

Moviemaking would continue apace, but the production of new television shows — buffeted by soaring costs and industry consolidation — would nearly cease.

“There just had to be a better way,” recalled Mr. Stringer in an interview by phone. “The trail of destruction I found really depressing.”

A decade later, Mr. Stringer’s mood has lightened considerably. Sony’s television business — rebuilt brick by brick, or at least time slot by time slot — is now driving profitability at the broader studio.

Part of the reason is weakness on the movie side of Sony Pictures Entertainment; high marketing costs and a shortage of franchise films have severely dented its performance. But the small-screen side is also surging because of an improved hit-to-miss ratio, a leaner structure and overseas channel growth.

“Quietly and inexorably, Steve has expertly evolved that business,” Mr. Stringer said of Steve Mosko, Sony’s television chief.

Even so, Mr. Mosko still cannot boast of a completed turnaround. The Sony stable now includes money minters like “The Dr. Oz Show” and critical darlings like “Breaking Bad,” but the studio has struggled to score a home run in prime time on a major broadcast network — still the industry’s sweet spot. The best Mr. Mosko has been able to muster are doubles like the Joel McHale comedy “Community.”

This fall, Mr. Mosko is hoping to hit one out of the park with “Pan Am,” a stylish period drama about spying stewardesses that arrives on Sept. 25 on ABC.

The stakes are considerable for Sony, which spent an estimated $10 million to make the “Pan Am” pilot, a staggering sum by industry standards. A flop would underscore why Mr. Stringer got out of this risky game a decade ago and call into question the studio’s current direction. Sony’s other new shows for the fall are less ambitious, but also costly. They include a remake of “Charlie’s Angels” for ABC and “Unforgettable,” a co-production with CBS that is centered on a detective with a memory affliction.

If this pressure is weighing on Mr. Mosko, whose contract expires next year, he is not showing it. When asked about the price tag for “Pan Am” in an interview, he coolly adjusted a Buddhist-style bracelet adorning his left wrist and said, “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’s revival comes as entertainment companies across the board lean more heavily on television to cope with an atrophying film business. Movie executives have been laying off employees and cutting back on production as a result of imploding DVD sales, piracy and weakening sales of old films to cable networks.

Meanwhile, the television part of the studio trade has strengthened. Netflix has emerged as a new buyer. Cable outlets like ABC Family and Starz continue to ramp up on original programming. Foreign channels are booming. Even advertising sales, hammered during the recession, have come roaring back.

Sony discloses financial results only on a combined movie-television basis, so it is unclear how much money Mr. Mosko’s group generates. But analysts say it is considerable. Of the $466 million in operating income that Sony Pictures Entertainment reported for its last fiscal year, which ended March 31, television contributed well over 50 percent.

Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, noted that Mr. Mosko’s unit had thrived despite its small size — it has 27 shows in production compared with Warner Brothers’ 54 — and despite being the only studio left that does not have a broadcast network or major North American cable channel as a corporate sibling.

As for Sony’s hopes of infiltrating prime time on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox, Mr. Lynton urges patience. There are “Pan Am,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Unforgettable.” And Sony’s domestic programming presidents, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, in recent weeks have sold more than two dozen scripts for potential shows to the Big Four.

“While we haven’t yet had a breakout hit, some strong performers are finally hitting syndication and more will come,” Mr. Lynton said. “I think it’s a terrific, terrific start.” (“Rules of Engagement” will start its syndication run in a few weeks.)

Mr. Mosko, known for his Incredible Hulk physique, is a true show business character. He comes accessorized with an endless rotation of funky reading glasses, holds court at the celebrity-clogged Sherwood Country Club (where the initiation fee is $160,000) and comes ready for a bare-knuckled fight over renewals of his shows — like the one he recently won with Fox over a Christian Slater comedy called “Breaking In.”

Early in his career, while selling ads for a TV station in his native Baltimore, Mr. Mosko once closed a deal by plying a client with flaming shots of Sambuca and then literally arm-wrestling him for the business.

“Whatever works,” he said.

Mr. Mosko, 55, brought that verve to resuscitating Sony’s television operation starting in 2001. He laid off about 35 percent of the work force, merged departments like business affairs and slashed expensive development deals with producers. Virtually all that remained after he finished was a handful of profitable, but aging shows like “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Young and the Restless,” and still-lucrative distribution rights to sitcoms like “Seinfeld.”

Then he set about persuading writers, producers and agents to take a smaller Sony seriously.

“Everyone questioned and doubted,” he said. “We had to roll up our sleeves and meet endlessly with people and repeat our strategy over and over.”

The centerpiece of that plan involved heading away from the pack and the expensive prime-time business. Noticing the shift by cable networks to original series, Mr. Mosko and his team concentrated firepower there. Successes like “The Shield” and “Rescue Me” followed.

Another turning point came in 2008, when Harpo, the production company based in Chicago owned by Oprah Winfrey, needed a distributor and co-producer for “The Dr. Oz Show.” Harpo didn’t even want to meet with Sony, instead preferring a bigger studio.

But Mr. Mosko flew to Chicago anyway and made an aggressive sales pitch. On a follow-up visit, he bumped into Ms. Winfrey in a hallway. “She asked me what we were doing back there, and I told her we weren’t leaving until we had her business,” Mr. Mosko recalled. The hard sell worked.

Around the same time, Mr. Lynton and Amy Pascal, the co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, moved to increase the studio’s global focus and create more cooperation between departments. In 2009, for instance, they folded Sony’s foreign TV business into Mr. Mosko’s portfolio to improve, among other things, how shows were exported. The international side includes localized production in places like Russia and 120 channels; Sony’s channels business is particularly strong on its home turf of Asia.

Indeed, those international networks, particularly several in India, where Mr. Lynton recently helped secure a lucrative contract to televise cricket matches, now account for a significant part of the television division’s growth.

“You can’t look at this business in the same unsophisticated way you did a decade ago,” said Andy Kaplan, president of Sony’s channels operation. “Well, I guess you can — a lot of people still do. But we certainly don’t.”

Fashionistas In New York To Get Pam Am In-Flight Experience

(8/25/11) Fashionistas Can Enjoy Free Coffee and Tea, Courtesy of “Pan Am”-Inspired Stewardesses.

ABC is bringing an in-flight experience without having to leave the ground to New York’s Fashion Week attendees, SEPTEMBER 8-14. “Pan Am”-inspired stewardesses will be stationed at coffee carts offering up coffee and tea each morning to local New Yorkers and attendees of some of the biggest fashion shows in New York City.

In addition to providing beverages, stewardesses will also be handing out the must-have bags of the season – the highly coveted “Pan Am” Explorer bag, as well as “Pan Am” track bags -- that people have been buzzing about since their debut at San Diego’s Comic-Con.

Scheduled dates and times in and around Lincoln Center for the In-Flight Experience are as follows:
September 8 – 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
September 10 – 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
September 12 – 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
September 13 - 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
September 14 – 9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m.

Pan Am Flight Experience Takes Off To Four Malls

(8/23/11) Relive the glamour and excitement of the jet age, beginning FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, when ABC’s “Pan Am” flight experience takes off to malls across the country. The tour will promote ABC’s “Pan Am,” one of the most talked about new dramas of the upcoming fall season.

The special booth, which premiered at San Diego’s Comic Con in July and got thousands of fans buzzing, is a recreation of a first class cabin from a 1960s-inspired Pan Am plane. The booth will be set up in four malls across the U.S. from late August throughout September. The tour will culminate with a special day-long event in New York’s Time Square, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23.

“Passengers” who visit the booth will be given a flight time and a boarding pass. Once they check in, they’ll get to watch a preview of the new ABC series “Pan Am” and will receive Pan Am bags. A few lucky passengers at each stop will also be given the highly coveted Pan Am Explorer bags. To complete the retro experience, brand ambassadors dressed in Pan Am stewardess uniforms will be assisting with each flight.

The scheduled dates and times for the tour are as follows:

Los Angeles, The Grove
August 26 -- 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
August 27 -- 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
August 28 -- 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Chicago, Woodfield Mall
September 2 – 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
September 3 – 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
September 4 – 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Boston, Burlington Mall
September 9 – 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
September 10 – 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Philadelphia, King of Prussia Mall
September 16 – 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
September 17 – 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
September 18 -- 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

New York Times Square Event
September 23 – 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

"Mad Men" inspires look back for new TV hits

(8/23/11) "Basically, it's 'Mad Men', with boobs," quipped Joel McHale.

The actor and comedian was joking recently about the upcoming drama series "The Playboy Club". But McHale could just as easily have been referring to much of the new fall season on U.S. television, as writers revisit the Swinging Sixties (and even the Seventies) in search of 21st century hits.

Call it nostalgia, a chance to showcase sex, or the spell cast by multiple Emmy-winning drama "Mad Men", but period shows and reboots of classic series are making a comeback on TV.

"Pan-Am" on ABC is set in the early 1960s at a time when jet travel was glamorous rather than groan-inducing; "The Playboy Club" on NBC features 1960s Bunnies in Chicago; "Charlie's Angels" storm back to ABC from the 1970s in a modern remake; and if drab post-war London is your cup of tea, you will find it in 1950s thriller "The Hour" on BBC America.

Writer and producers deny they are in the copycat business, despite widespread admiration in Hollywood for the stylish but slow burning "Mad Men" on AMC.

But the critical success of the 1960s advertising drama -- despite its tiny audience of less than four million viewers -- has inspired others to mine a period ripe with social change.

"There was an enormous amount of American exceptionalism and hope and desire, and dreams that we were going to go to the moon. And yet the kettle was absolutely coming to a boil," said Thomas Schlamme, one of the creators of "Pan-Am".

Christina Ricci, who plays one of the young flight attendants on the show, agreed. "There's that sense of excitement and freedom that goes with this sense of travel and everything being new."

Ironically, what was seen entertainment wise on American television in the 1960s rarely captured the social, sexual, women's and civil rights revolutions of the era, said Robert Thompson, pop culture professor at Syracuse University.

"1960s television was all about talking horses, monsters in the suburbs, flying nuns, witches and genies. It is as though the exciting '60s happened, but the entertainment television made at the time totally ignored all those things.

"What 'Pan-Am' and 'The Playboy Club' can do is show an era in a TV series in a way that the actual era could never have done because of tighter standards and content rules at that time," Thompson said.


But some of the behavior and attitudes considered standard in the early 1960s are seen differently through modern eyes.

"The Playboy Club" (and to a lesser extent "Pan-Am") are already under attack for portraying women as sex objects.

Some critics have suggested that both shows are going after big audiences simply by showing pretty young women in Playboy Bunny and stewardess costumes that are regarded as sexy.

The shows' backers reject the accusations. "Playboy Club" executive producer Chad Hodge described his show as "all about empowering, and who these women (Bunnies) can be, and how they can use their position to get it."

Schlamme of "Pan-Am" said the various ways women were treated by men in the early 1960s provided a great source of drama with multiple storylines.

Different problems faced the updated "Charlie's Angels" and a 2011 remake of the British police drama "Prime Suspect" that originally starred Helen Mirren in the early 1990s.

NBC's "Prime Suspect" is playing down the overt sexism among police toward women officers-in-charge that marked the original series.

Creator Alexandra Cunningham said the new version with Maria Bello would be more humorous and would "try to make it more realistic, because sexism isn't gone. It's kind of more subtle and insidious in a modern world."

The "Charlie's Angels" remake will bring the glamorous trio of female crime fighters closer to solid ground than their 1970s counterparts by focusing on character, producers said.

TV executives say comparisons to "Mad Men" begin and end with the period setting of many of the new offerings. But as Americans struggle to emerge from recession, nostalgia is clearly back in fashion.

"The early 60s were a very hopeful time, with all kinds of things beginning, and that's what ('The Playboy Club') is about," said executive producer Ian Biederman. "And that's why people are attracted to it right now -- to take a little break from the way things are today"

Mayor Bloomberg hails record 23 shows filming in NYC

(8/22/11) New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said Monday that a record-breaking 23 primetime TV shows are filming in the city's five boroughs, bolstering an industry that contributes $5 billion to the city's economy each year.

Bloomberg touted the city's attempts to draw TV productions and encouraged more to shoot in the city. He spoke at Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on the set of Sony Pictures Television's new ABC series, "Pan Am," one of eight new primetime episodic series being filmed in the city.

"A show like 'Pan Am' employs 400 people behind the scenes and generates activity for our local economy at places like lumberyards, fabric stores and coffee shops," Bloomberg said. "We're working to strengthen and diversify New York City's economy and create jobs, and our thriving entertainment industry is a prime example of those efforts paying off."

The city's entertainment industry supports 100,000 jobs. In addition to the 23 primetime shows, New York is home to 140 news programs, talk shows and reality series.

This year, his office said, New York City-based shows have earned a record 110 Primetime Emmy nominations. New York-based shows include "30 Rock," "Boardwalk Empire," and "Blue Bloods."

Brooklyn Borough President joined Bloomberg in welcoming the new fall season -- and invited West Coast productions to relocate.

"Brooklyn's big stage is a star on the small screen, from the 'Cosby Show' to current hits 'Boardwalk Empire' -- which is filming at Borough Hall today -- and 'Blue Bloods' which films at Broadway Stages," Markowitz said, adding that tax incentives and top-notch facilities have made his borough more attractive than ever for TV productions.

"So when you get tired of Lala land come to Brooklyn -- or as I call it, Hollywood East," he said.

The mayor's "Made in NY" Production Assistant Training Program was developed with the nonprofit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations to help New Yorkers find entry-level jobs in TV and film production. The mayor's office said the program has helped more than 300 New Yorkers become certified "Made in NY" production assistants and earn about $6 million in wages. Three of them have joined the "Pan Am" crew.

The city has invested $28 million in basic infrastructure for Steiner studios, in addition to $100 million in private investment from Steiner. The investment has led to one of the East Coast's largest sound stages and 1,000 jobs, according to Bloomberg's office. The city, the federal government and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation are investing another $15 million and Steiner is investing $85 million to double the size of the studios.

ER's Goran Visnjic Flies to ABC's Pan Am

(8/18/11) ER alum Goran Visjnic will appear on Pan Am in a four-episode arc, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Pan Am follows the stewardesses and pilots in the early Jet Age of the 1960s. Visjnic will play a "sexy Yugoslavian immigrant torn between his communist Eastern Bloc homeland and the freedoms and opportunities of the West," according to the magazine.

Visjnic, who played Dr. Luka Kovac on the NBC medical drama, was last on the small screen in 2010 for two episodes of TNT's Leverage.

Pan Am will premiere on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c on ABC.

Fun, fantasy fuel Pan Am

(8/14/11) Drama recalls a time when air travel was glamorous, not torturous

So, just how much of a dreamy, romantic fantasy is the new ABC drama Pan Am?

Watch its premiere this fall, and you'll see people on airplanes -- happy, smiling people who have oodles of leg room and are being served food and cocktails and are obviously excited and enjoying the experience of travelling by air.

Yes, it's a back-in-time fantasy, all right. Heck, their stock portfolios are probably doing just fine, too.

As unreal as it seems in the current stressed-out and locked-down air-travel environment, fun and fantasy are the fuel that propels Pan Am on its stylish and smartly dramatic journey into prime time.

"It's a huge part of the show," executive producer Jack Orman said this week during ABC's portion of the U.S. networks' semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles. "I think what really locked in for me when we were developing this project was the concept of the jet age -- it started in the '50s, and it was really pioneering, and the idea that you could actually get on an airplane was part of the whole trip. (Air travel) wasn't just something that you wanted to get through. I really think what we're going through now feels like science fiction. Back then, you didn't go through security. There was a lounge. They had martinis. It was a lot of fun."

Pan Am, which will also air on CTV in Canada, is a soft-focused but sharply written soap that follows the lives, globe-circling careers and romantic entanglements of a cluster of stewardesses and pilots employed by Pan American Airlines in the early 1960s. Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Canadian actress Karine Vanasse and Mike Vogel lead the cast, which is tasked with bringing a sort of Mad-Men-in-mid-air sense of retro-chic drama into the major-network arena.

"It's fun for us," said Ricci. "It's something that, for me, I always remember in my performance -- that (flying) is something that's exciting, and that every time we step on a plane, we are just as excited as the passengers are. And it's glamourous, and these stewardesses were looked at as very glamourous symbols."

Like the producers of NBC's The Playboy Club did last week, however, the creative team behind Pan Am found themselves facing questions about whether a show like this -- a period drama in which the female characters are forced to endure sexist and, some might argue, dehumanizing treatment and unwelcome physical inspections as they pursue their dream careers -- might alienate many of the women they're actually trying to attract.

"Well, that was part of the irony of the profession," said Orman, who pointed out that fellow executive producer Nancy Hult Ganis actually worked as a Pan Am stewardess before embarking on her very successful showbiz career. "It was a coveted position for young women at the time. They needed to be college-educated; they needed to speak several languages; they really were pioneers in a lot of ways. So the idea that they had to be subjected to girdle checks and weigh-ins adds a certain realism and an interesting dramatic twist to the show. I actually think female viewers in large numbers will like this."

Ganis, for her part, said she has nothing but fond memories of her days spent flying what truly were -- so long ago and what feels like so, so far away -- friendly skies.

"It was a time when we were treated as if we were hostesses at a dinner party, and it was a movable feast," she said. "The atmosphere in the plane was that we would become friends with the passengers -- we would know them by name, we would know about their children, we would know all about where they were going. We would help them plan their trips, and help them with any concerns about language or currency or whatever.

"And because the flights were longer and there was no entertainment or iPads or anything like that, it was much more friendly and interactive. ... And in those days, nearly 80 per cent of Pan Am crews were from all over the world; they represented 70 different countries. And particularly for the American girls, part of the discovery was getting to know about each other -- the experience opened up the world to us and helped us to understand different cultures and customs and created a lot of funny fish-out-of-water moments as we learned to navigate through different worlds."

Jeepers, that does sound like a lot of fun. I'll try to remember these stories while I'm filling out forms at the lost-luggage counter after I miss my connecting flight during the always-frustration-filled trip home from L.A.

It's déjà view, all over again: IT'S a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Men world -- at least, that's how TV-watchers will feel this fall when the new crop of U.S.-network dramas arrives in prime time.

In addition to ABC's smooth and stylish '60s-era soap Pan Am, which is set in the then-glamorous world of international airline travel, the new-show schedule also includes NBC's The Playboy Club, which follows the lives and cotton-tailed careers of young women employed in Hugh Hefner's skin-mag-inspired nightclub in early '60s Chicago.

This might come as welcome news to fans who are impatient for the fifth-season return of AMC's award-grabbing drama Mad Men, which only recently resumed production and isn't expected to hit the airwaves until early 2012.

Despite the thematic and timeline similarities, however, the producers of the two major-network retro-drama offerings are trying very hard to distance themselves from Mad Men and, for that matter, each other.

"I think the comparison to Mad Men sort of ends at the era of the '60s," said Ian Biederman, one of The Playboy Club's executive producers. "This is a much different show with a much different energy. It's got a musical component that's great; I don't think it has much to do with Mad Men, at all. It's its own show."

Over at Pan Am, executive producer and veteran TV director Thomas Schlamme insisted that his new nostalgic drama will withstand any comparisons to that much-beloved AMC show.

"Look, I think we're all fans of Mad Men, but really, one has nothing to do with the other," he said. "So it happens that they're both set in the 1960s -- it's a great era; I hope there are lots of shows (set in the '60s), and then I hope there will start to be shows about the 1970s and the 1980s and whenever else we can tell good stories.

"Television is just execution. It's not the era that it's set in; it's not the characters. It really just is execution, and we hope our show will be executed in a wonderful way that will offer a sort of wish fulfilment that will attract a large audience."

Nostalgia or cautionary tale, will Pan Am take flight?

(8/14/11) The empowerment of women. The exploitation of women. It just kept coming up here.

ABC was the last network to present its wares. And at the entrance to the area where the press conferences unfolded, ABC put up some props – a faux airport boarding gate staffed by two young ladies wearing Pan Am uniforms. The screen beside them looked like it was announcing flight times, but it actually announced the list of ABC’s new fall shows.

Of those, Pan Am is the big one. That’s why it got special promotion here. The series has “tested well,” as networks say when a show gets great reviews from focus groups. All networks make the same claim about many shows, but Pan Am has also sold very well in the international market. That, not 12 people in a room in New Jersey, indicates a strong future for the show.

What is it? It’s a glossy drama set among the pilots and stewardesses of the Pan Am airline in the early 1960s. Like The Playboy Club and Mad Men at its beginning, the show is really about the sixties. Specifically, the innocence and optimism of that period. Or, as others might see it, especially women, the backward and reactionary attitudes of that time.

Handsome pilots and pretty stewardesses having adventures is the gist. Most of the focus is on the stewardesses. Christina Ricci is the nominal star, playing “a rebellious bohemian, Maggie, who turns into a buttoned-up professional for work so she can see the world.” That’s ABC’s description. Actually, ABC’s official synopsis is downright giddy – “Passion, jealousy and espionage ... They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly original new series.”

Indeed, deliciousness abounds. Everybody smiles like it’s going out of style. Except for the stewardess who has a one-night stand with a married man after a flight to Europe and is then obliged to serve the man, his wife and child on an ensuing flight. There’s a strong whiff of humiliation for that young woman. And then viewers see the cringe-inducing treatment meted out to the flight attendants, especially the mandatory weigh-ins and checks that they are wearing girdles. They frown, sort of, through that.

So, what is this thing? Is it nostalgia for that misogynistic past? Is it a cautionary tale about how it used to be for women asking viewers to remember how far women workers have come?

“It was part of the irony of the profession,” co-creator Jack Orman said about those weigh-in scenes that had women journalists here shaking their heads. “It was a coveted position at the time for young women. They needed to be college-educated and speak several languages. They were really pioneers. The fact that they had to be subjected to girdle checks and weigh-ins adds a certain realism, but also a dramatic push.” He also described the show as “sweeping and epic and wish-fulfilling.”

Fine, but it’s still creepy to see educated young women treated as eye candy and smile through it.

Christina Ricci, sensing a backlash from critics, decided to tell us how she saw her character: “In reality, the job allowed the women to have a freedom they weren’t given in a regular role in life at that time. These stewardesses were looked at as these glamorous symbols. It’s something that we have so much pride in welcoming these passengers on the plane and they have so much pride in travelling.”

Just to be sure that we all understood that Pan Am is just, you know, a TV show, another producer chimed in with, “Our show is escapism at its best.”

Ricci also told us that she had talked to former Pan Am stewardesses, who told her they only had great memories of the 1960s and their time travelling the world when there were few opportunities for women. “What this really sends is a message that these women were really free and in charge of their lives,” she said.

Well, there you go with the empowerment thing again. A few days earlier, we’d been told that Playboy bunnies were empowered by earning lots of money at the Playboy Club.

The fact is, as a critic pointed out to Ricci, these characters travel the world and have some degree of independence because they’re in tight skirts serving coffee and liquor to people while smiling fanatically. How might modern women who grew up in the feminist movement appreciate or warm to this portrayal?

There wasn’t an answer because, really, it remains to be seen how viewers, male and female, will respond.

Still, it’s a testament to the power of TV drama that it can ignite such discussions.

One producer, Nancy Hult Ganis, was actually a Pan Am stewardess herself, and pointed out. “Some of the biggest feminists in the women’s movement were former Pan Am women, including Patricia Ireland, who was one of the first presidents of NOW.”

This assertion only leads to another question that viewers might well ask: “Did they become feminists because of their experience as stewardesses? Women viewers will be pondering that one when Pan Am airs (starting on Sept. 25, ABC, CTV).

TCA 2011: Are 'Pan Am' stewardesses oppressed or 'lucky'?

(8/8/11) In the pilot of ABC's new drama "Pan Am," a voiceover says: "The Pan Am stewardess can travel all around the world without suspicion." But the show's producers and cast can't avoid the suspicions of reporters about the message being sent by the series set in the 1960s.

When the cast and producers appeared Sunday at the Television Critics Assn. media tour in Beverly Hills to promote the series, they were peppered with questions about the sexism depicted in the show.

The series highlights some of the domineering treatment of flight attendants, such as mandatory weigh-ins and girdle checks. But those involved with the show caution against focusing too heavily on such practices.

"It was part of the irony of the profession," said creator and executive producer Jack Orman, noting the freedom that came with the vocation. "I think female audiences in large numbers will like it."

Christina Ricci, who plays flight attendant Maggie, hopes viewers will see the bigger picture about "a group of lucky women."

"As soon as anybody sees five minutes of the show," Ricci said, "those misconceptions about what it meant for women is going to be gone. It will send a message of how these women were free and in charge of their lives."

Executive producer Nancy Hult Ganis, a Pan Am flight attendant in the late '60s and early '70s, also addressed the question, pointing out flight attendants' large role in the labor and feminist movements.

"I think [flight attendants] still have great memories of that time and had great adventures," she said.

"Pan Am" premieres Sunday, Sept. 25, on ABC.

Stewardesses Won't Smoke On Pan Am, Should We Care About Characters Smoking?

(8/8/11) Network television is preparing to return to the good ‘ol days in the fall with The Playboy Club and Pan Am, but don’t expect the latter program to be completely authentic. Despite researching the luxury airliner and all that surrounded it rigorously, producers have decided to make Christina Ricci and her co-workers non-smokers. The decision is a direct result of Disney protocol, and the powers that be have issued a statement decrying how impressionable television viewers are.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Tommy Schlamme called the cigarette-less cabin Pan Am’s “one revisionist cheat”. Of course, that’s definitely not a decision every 1950s/ 1960s show is willing to budge on. The characters of Mad Men smoke constantly, which strikes me as fitting, but apparently, it rubs a whole host of worried executives the wrong way. Something as small as smoking definitely won’t keep me away from the premiere of a show that could well turn into a smash hit, but to be perfectly honest, it is a strike. Knowing producers willingly decided to trade historical authenticity for the sake of health-conscious complainers isn’t really how I like to envision my ideal showrunners. Still, we live in a world where ratings boards actually take into account smoking when factoring in what’s age appropriate.

Smoking has become taboo on both the small screen and the big screen. Worried over how it might look or who might protest, characters have consistently been sucking in the smoke to feed an agenda. Yes, cigarettes cause cancer, but that doesn’t make them any less apart of the past or present. We don’t ban spouses cheating in movies just because it might set a bad example. Maybe someday we will.

What do you think? Should we really care about characters smoking?

Retro TV series asks: Coffee, tea or 'Pan Am'?

(8/8/11) Remember when flying was a pleasure?

You probably don't. But ABC is hoping you can imagine a time when flight attendants were gorgeous, passengers were well-dressed, and everyone was well-mannered -- a '60s world recreated in Pan Am.

It was a time, says star Christina Ricci, when travel was new and exciting, and she tries to keep that excitement in her performance. "It's glamorous, and these stewardesses were looked at as really glamorous symbols. … We have so much pride in welcoming these passengers on the plane, and they have so much pride in traveling."

The goal, says producer Jack Orman, is to create a show that is "sweeping and epic and wish-fulfilling." And one of their wishes, clearly, is that the show -- which is set in 1963 -- not be compared to Mad Men.

"Television is just execution," says producer Thomas Schlamme. "It's not the time period it takes place in. … It has nothing to do with Mad Men. We just hope our show is executed in a wonderful way."

Unlike Mad Men, Pan Am is focused on female characters, a crew of flight attendants headed by Ricci. And unlike Mad Men, the show has a secret-agent component, as one of the attendants becomes a carrier for the CIA. "We've done some research on this," insists Orman. "They (Pan Am) had a very cozy relationship with the State Department. … We weave it in, I think, pretty effectively, so it isn't its own separate story line."

As the pilot shows, the women who worked for Pan Am were very tightly controlled by their employer. There were weight restrictions, dress restrictions, and restrictions on their personal lives, all to help Pan Am sell an image of ideal female beauty.

Still, says Ricci, the former employees she talked to all have fond memories of a job that allowed them to see the world at a time when opportunities for women were limited. "What this really sends is a message that these women were really free and in charge of their lives."

Pan Am: Girdles Support a Message of Female Empowerment

(8/8/11) Ticket? Check. Baggage? Check. Girdle? Check. The plane is now ready for lift-off.

On ABC's new period drama Pan Am, the elite ranks of Pan Am stewardesses need to pass daily weigh-ins and girdle checks before they are allowed to fly. On the flip side: They are worldly, empowered women who producers would like us to view as a new breed of feminists.

"It was part of the irony of the profession," creator Jack Orman told reporters at ABC's fall previews Sunday. "It was a coveted position at the time for young women. They needed to be college-educated and speak several languages. They were really pioneers. The fact that they had to be subjected to girdle checks and weigh-ins adds a certain realism, but also a dramatic push."

"In reality, the job allowed the women to have a freedom they weren't given in a regular role in life at that time," added Christina Ricci, who plays stewardess Maggie. "These stewardesses were looked at as these glamorous symbols. It's something that we have so much pride in welcoming these passengers on the plane and they have so much pride in traveling."

To further add to the realism of the era, the show replaced the previously cast Jonah Lotan, 37, with 32-year-old Mike Vogel to play the young and charismatic pilot Dean. "We're going for this idea of Camelot at the time," explained Orman. "Most of the pilots at the time were 45 years old and... Dean jumped the line; he got promoted early. He's one of the new hires that are going to take the airline into the next decade."

The very white show will eventually address the issue of race, once the show's timeline catches up to the point when ethnic diversity on planes was historically accurate. "What we want to do is make it an event as opposed to it's just there," said director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme. "This is still a little early, but in '64 -'65, the first African-American stewardesses were hired, and so we're going to bring that down and it will be part of the story line later."

Despite the show's efforts to maintain realism, the tone will remain lighthearted and fun. "Our show is sweeping and epic and wish-fulfilling," said Orman. Vogel added, "It's escapism at its best."

Pan Am will premiere on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c on ABC.

'Pan Am' is not 'Mad Men,' and that's OK, ABC says

(8/7/11) It was inevitable, and at least partly understandable, that ABC and the creators of its new series "Pan Am" would get questions comparing it to "Mad Men," since both are set in the early 1960s and filter the culture of that era through a 21st-century lens.

They would also like you to know that just because both shows are set in the early '60s, it doesn't mean that they're the same show -- or will draw the same size or same kind of audience.

"It's a much broader, brighter canvas, and so we think it's going to attract a broader and brighter audience," ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee said Sunday (Aug. 7) at the Television Critics Association press tour. "Not that 'Mad Men' isn't a wonderful show. It's a glorious show for AMC and absolutely right for them, but it wouldn't be right for us."

"Pan Am" has a distinctively lighter tone than "Mad Men," it centers on female rather than male characters -- it's just different. That's the point "Pan Am" director/executive producer Thomas Schlamme tried to make when he took the stage soon after Lee.

"Television is just execution. It's not the time period it takes place in," Schlamme says. "All I can really say [is] it has nothing to do with 'Mad Men.' It just has to do with we hope our show is executed in a wonderful way that will have sort of a wish-fulfillment that will attract a large audience. It's as simple as that. I think we're all fans of 'Mad Men' ... but, literally, one had almost nothing to do with the other."

What the show does represent for ABC, Lee says, is an example of some risk-taking on broadcast TV this season.

"We're in a business where there's a lot of failure, and we know that," Lee says. "I've done this long enough to know that you stumble as much as you succeed. But the fun of these [jobs] is to start taking some risks, and I think you're seeing that in broadcast. I think that's a good thing for broadcast."

The Marilyn Denis Show (CTV)

(7/30/11) Thursday, August 4 ( Cast members from CTV’s highly anticipated new series PAN AM, premiering this fall on CTV, drop in to chat with Marilyn about passion, jealousy, and espionage at 30,000 feet. Leading ladies CHRISTINA RICCI (Monster, Sleepy Hollow), French-Canadian actress KARINE VANASSE (Polytechnique), KELLI GARNER (MY GENERATION) and MARGOT ROBBIE (NEIGHBOURS) discuss the style of the 1960s and excitement that occurred during the dawn of the Jet Age, before teaching Marilyn how to conduct a pre-flight safety demonstration.

Comic-Con 2011: ABC Takes Off With 'Pan Am' Swag

(7/19/11) (Photo) While ABC’s jet age drama Pan Am won’t be holding a panel Q&A and screening, it will have a presence at Comic-Con.

ABC announced last week that it has dedicated a booth on the convention floor with a replica first-class cabin from a 1960s-inspired Pan Am plane. Convention-goers who visit the booth will be given a flight time and boarding pass to come back and watch a preview of the drama that bows Sunday, Sept. 25.

In addition, giveaways including replica bags inspired by those carried by airline pilots and flight attendants will be among the collectibles distributed at the booth -- #3921 on the convention floor.

The collectible bags are nearly identical to those featured on the official Pan Am Brands site and retail for $89.

Pan Am revolves around the pilots and stewardesses who worked for the landmark airliner. It’s set in the ’60s and stars Christina Ricci.

Mike Vogel to Star in ABC's Pan Am

(7/16/11) Mike Vogel has been cast in a leading role on ABC's fall drama Pan Am, Deadline reports.

Vogel, whose credits include the film Blue Valentine and CBS' short-lived series Miami Medical, will play Dean, the charismatic captain of Pan Am's new aircraft, the Majestic. Vogel replaces Jonah Lotan, who appeared in the pilot.

Pan Am follows the stewardesses and pilots of the titular airline in the Jet Age of the 1960s.Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Kelli Garner also star.

Pan Am premieres Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10/9c after Desperate Housewives.

CTV takes flight with 'Pan Am'

(6/2/11) You know what they say about phone companies being from Mars and TV networks being from Venus. Or something like that.

"You said that, not me," said Phil King, the president of CTV programming and sports, with a chuckle.

But on Thursday at the first CTV upfront presentation to advertisers since Bell took majority control of the company, the old CTV philosophy of "you need to spend money to make money" still seemed to be in place.

Already boasting 15 of the top 20 shows in Canada, CTV announced the acquisition of 16 new series to CTV and the soon-to-be-rebranded CTV Two (presently the A channels).

Among the highest-profile additions from the U.S. are Pan Am, Smash, Whitney, Anderson Cooper's new daytime show, and Simon Cowell's The X Factor, which previously was announced but finally will debut this fall.

"If we didn't buy a new show this year, I think it'd be pretty safe to say we'd still be No. 1," King said. "But that's like a hockey team that doesn't draft. You might be only a little weaker in year one, but you'll be even weaker in year two, and even weaker in year three.

"We had to impress upon (Bell) that we need to invest in new shows. So Bell totally understands that. Tomorrow's hits are really bought today. You can't take a year off from that, you just can't."

For the media portion of the event on Thursday, CTV brought in the four main actresses from Pan Am: Christina Ricci, Canadian Karine Vanasse, Margot Robbie and Kelli Garner; Debra Messing from Smash; Anderson Cooper from Anderson; Whitney Cummings from Whitney; and Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik from Canada's No. 1 show, The Big Bang Theory.

Pan Am, of course, is a sharp-looking show about stewardesses in 1963 that will be simulcast in the crucial Sunday-at-10 p.m. time slot on CTV. Ricci arguably had the funniest line of the press conferences when she was asked about the authenticity of the retro foundation garments on the show.

"Basically it's a half-hour pee break," Ricci said. "And someone has to help you, because afterward it's all unhooked."

Later, Ricci was asked about that classic Pan Am stewardess walk, with its swish of the hips and hand in the air.

"We're all wearing girdles, it makes you walk a certain way," Ricci explained. "It keeps your legs together."

Other new shows in the CTV stable include the reboot of Charlie's Angels, Free Agents, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Man Up, The Sing-Off, The Protector, Unforgettable, Up All Night, G.C.B. and Missing.

With all this content, King insisted the rebranding of the A channels as CTV Two is much more than a cosmetic endeavour.

"I kind of said when I took on this role, I think (CTV) has been operating with one arm tied behind their backs," King said. "So we're going to give it a real shot, with HD and a proper promotion and marketing campaign. We certainly have invested in some programming for CTV Two this fall."

Additionally, some of CTV's top-20 hits - like Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami and Two and a Half Men - will be shifted to CTV Two.

"It's taking a bit of the page from what we did with TSN and TSN 2," King said. "It seemed pretty obvious - let's call it what it is."

Calling it what it is for CTV these days amounts to taking pride in its current position at the top network in Canada, but not taking it for granted.

That's a clear-headed approach whether you're from Mars, Venus, or any other planet in the solar system.

Promisong On Principle

(5/19/11) Pan Am (ABC)
The truth: I have a crush on Christina Ricci, so I am going to watch this. There are other reasons, though. Pan Am clearly will try to tap into the Mad Men vibe, with that cool 1960s look that is so easy on the eyes. Ricci plays Maggie, a naturally rebellious young lady who transforms herself into a spiffy professional for work, primarily so she can see the world. Now, if this turns out to be just a straight soap opera at 30,000 feet, that's going to be disappointing. But visuals alone will get it a solid sample.

U.S. audiences treated to new TV shows, that feel old

(5/19/11) American television audiences are bound to experience a bit of deja vu this coming season.

As ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC previewed more than three dozen new TV shows this week, they sought to convince advertisers that they could offer better, fresher programs than the crop they introduced a year ago, which produced flops such as "Undercovers," Off the Map" and "Lonestar."

They may succeed, but it won't be the result of any departure from tried and true formulas. Few of the dramas, sitcoms and reality shows introduced for the coming season -- from the brief clips and descriptions provided -- appear all that much different than what audiences have come to expect from prime-time TV.

Consider Fox's "The X-Factor," one of most anticipated new programs for 2011-12. A talent show that will air twice a week, "The X Factor" features four judges, including Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, offering up advice, encouragement and nastiness to contestants with dreams of becoming the next musical sensation. Plenty of tears and hugs are sure to be included.

"It's like 'American Idol' meets a mirror," comedian Jimmy Kimmel joked this week at a presentation by rival broadcast network ABC. "I think this is the best idea of 2002."

Or take a look at "Pan Am" and "The Playboy Club," two other shows unveiled at the "upfront" presentation, so called because the shows are introduced and advertising time is sold ahead of the season. This year, ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS stand to collectively book $8.5 billion to $9 billion in commitments.

Both "Pan Am," on ABC, and "The Playboy Club," on NBC, are workplace dramas set in the golden, glamorous 1960s, and the inspiration in hard to miss.

"Call it the 'Mad Men' effect," said Lisa Quan, director of audience analysis at MagnaGlobal, a media and research agency owned by Interpublic Group.

There are obvious differences: "Pan Am" revolves around an airliner, "The Playboy Club" is set in a nightclub and "Mad Men" takes place on Madison Avenue. It remains to be seen whether either new show can achieve the quality of "Mad Men."

But both ABC and NBC clearly would like to capitalize on the success of "Mad Men" and prove they, too, can portray the dazzling attitude and style of the early 60s.

"It's all about taking something familiar, something that works and putting a spin on it," said Brad Adgate, an analyst at advertising and marketing firm Horizon Media. "I think you want to put on something that's familiar enough for viewers that networks are comfortable, but something that offers something a little bit different."


Originality can pay big dividends, if it results in the next "Lost" or "Glee," and not everything offered up this year is formulaic. Fox, for instance, is rolling out Terra Nova, an ambitious science fiction drama from Steven Spielberg, and there will be a couple of shows based around fairly tales, "Once Upon a Time" on ABC and "Grimm" on NBC.

Still, TV executives have plenty of reason to stick with the familiar. The process of making a pilot -- something of a test-run for a program -- can cost $5 million, leaving little room in the budget for experimentation. Plus, finding new hits is tough enough without going out on a limb; only about a third of all new shows are renewed for a second season.

That doesn't keep the industry from coming under criticism for not trying hard enough to be original.

"We wanted to be derivative this year so that's why we picked up all those shows," NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt sarcastically replied when the issue was brought up on a press call. "You listed seven shows that you think are derivative. so do you want me to say I think they are original and thought-provoking and bold and original? Because I do."

Among other new, if not pioneering, programs coming this season are NBC's "Smash," which will contain the singing and dancing elements that have made "Glee" such a hit; NBC's "Prime Suspect," based on the popular British series which could be seen on PBS; Fox's animated "Napoleon Dynamite," based off the 2004 movie; and ABC's Charlie's Angels, an update of both a popular TV series and film.

There is also the usual menu of sitcoms featuring odd-couples, single parents, and young adults finding their way in big cities. This year's titles include "2 Broke Girls," "Suburgatory," "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" and "New Girl."

"Everyone once in a while someone will come up with a twist and make it look fresh," said MagnaGlobal's Quan. "We like to see them take chances, but just not with an entire schedule."

Notebook: The ABC Upfront

(5/18/11) Through the first two days and three networks of the upfront week, a nagging thought keeps occurring to me. When people ask me what to look forward to in the fall, I fear my answer is going to be: Just wait until midseason!

Once again, as with Awake and Smash on NBC and Alcatraz on Fox, some of my most visceral and enthusiastic knee-jerk responses to ABC's bulging shelf of new series was reserved for the shows that are waiting in the wings for winter or spring. I'm at a loss to understand why a show with so much buzz and flash as Good Christian Belles (formerly Bitches), which seems to have the oomph and panache of early-days Desperate Housewives, is being held back - when it would make the perfect Sunday companion piece for the increasingly enfeebled antics on Wisteria Lane.

Which isn't a slight against Pan Am, the '60s "Come Fly With Me" soap which takes over the Sunday post-Housewives slot. As Mad Men wannabes go, it looks so much brighter and, yes, airy than NBC's dark and murky '60s pastiche of The Playboy Club. And it looks like fun. Fun is always good. Especially when you're talking sexy stewardesses and hot pilots. I loved the first Airport movie, and if Pan Am can spread its wings in that direction, I could end up becoming a frequent flier.

The other midseason lurker that jolted me out of my seat at Avery Fisher Hall Tuesday is The River, an exotic thriller with touches of Paranormal Activity in its sudden spasms of terror. This show might actually benefit from a midseason launch, when more promotional muscle can be focused on its cinematic story of a family's search for a missing explorer in the spooky and treacherous Amazonian jungle.

Both GCB and The River seem to fall into the category of "pure entertainment" touted by ABC's new entertainment chief Paul Lee, who's swinging the bat with all kinds of high concepts, not all of which are likely to bear fruit.

One no-brainer - and I think I mean that literally - is the show Lee described as "pure candy." That would be the Charlie's Angels reboot, kicking off the Thursday lineup by providing eye candy in its rethinking of the sexy crime-fighting trio as reformed bad girls. Looks like there will be lots of explosions in the pilot. And the rest? White noise, from what I can tell.

Some other early thoughts:

Can't blame ABC, still riding high from its comedy resurgence of a season ago, for establishing a second sitcom block on Tuesday - or for turning to Tim Allen to try to recapture some of that Home Improvement mass appeal. But the network seems to have forgotten that variety is the spice of life. Allen's new family vehicle, Last Man Standing, and its companion piece, the abrasive buddy comedy Man Up, are rather single-mindedly obsessed with the notion that manhood is an endangered species.

These shows look merely negligible. The trend gets much worse at midseason, with a "what were they thinking" project called Work It, a shrill Bosom Buddies knockoff about two unemployed he-men who dress as women (none too convincingly) to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Somewhere, RuPaul is weeping. The rest of us can only cringe.

The other head-scratcher on ABC's lineup is the new season's second (and less promising) fairy-tale mash-up. At least NBC's Grimm has the good sense to frame fantasy creatures within a horror mystery. Once Upon a Time, which replaces Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sundays, at first glance looks like a tonally bizarre fable that re-imagines a Snow White-like story taking place in a small Maine town. The cut-down was confusing and, despite such appealing actors as Jennifer Morrison and Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin in the mix, not very enticing. (If you want to start laying bets on the season's first possible cancellation, I won't stop you.)

And finally, let's look at Wednesday night, the jewel in ABC's crown, thanks to The Middle and Modern Family. Normally I'd include Cougar Town in that equation, but the network is once again abusing this wacky gem, degrading it to utility-player status, where it will fill in between seasons of Dancing With the Stars on Tuesdays (accompanied by the noxious-looking roommate-from-hell comedy Apartment 23). While the satirical new Suburgatory (8:30/7:30c) looks to be the most compatible bridge ABC has yet found between The Middle and Modern Family, I am not nearly as amused by ABC's coronation of Happy Endings as the inheritor of Cougar Town's time period. I know this show has its ardent fans, and some episodes have been funny (especially when focusing on the schlubby gay Max, the series' freshest character), but the real happy ending would be if the show were retooled to move Max in with Penny and Alex and get rid of the other three miserably unfunny characters.

The night's biggest mystery, though, is why ABC is squandering the momentum of its hit comedies with another looks-like-a-dud in Wednesday's 10/9c hour: Revenge, in which Emily Van Camp seeks payback against a bunch of rich Hamptons families. This might make an OK Lifetime movie, but a series? Seems awfully thin. Especially in a year where something as potentially explosive as Good Christian Belles is still waiting for its moment in the spotlight. When does midseason get here?

ABC's 2011-12 schedule: 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Once Upon a Time' lead fall lineup

(5/17/11) ABC has announced its 2011-12 television lineup and so far, it is topping the networks with the number of shows picked up at 13 total. The alphabet network has picked up seven new shows for the fall and has added six new shows for midseason.

New series for the 2011-12 fall season are "Last Man Standing," "Man Up," "Pan Am," "Suburgatory," "Revenge," "Charlie's Angels" and "Once Upon a Time." The midseason debuts include "Apartment 23," "Good Christian Belles," "Missing," "The River," "Scandal" and "Work It."

"America's Funniest Home Videos," "The Bachelor," "Body of Proof," "Dancing with the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Happy Endings," "Secret Millionaire," "Shark Tank" and "20/20" join previously announced returning series "Castle," "Cougar Town," "Grey's Anatomy," "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Private Practice." "Saturday Night College Football" also returns.

The full fall schedule for ABC, new shows in bold:

8 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars"
10 p.m. "Castle"

8 p.m. "Last Man Standing"
8:30 p.m. "Man Up"
9 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show"
10 p.m. "Body of Proof"

8 p.m. "The Middle"
8:30 p.m. "Suburgatory"
9 p.m. "Modern Family"
9:30 p.m. "Happy Endings"
10 p.m. "Revenge"

8 p.m. "Charlie's Angels"
9 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"
10 p.m. "Private Practice"

8 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
9 p.m. "Shark Tank"
10 p.m. "20/20"

8:00 p.m. "Saturday Night College Football"

7 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8 p.m. "Once Upon a Time"
9 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10 p.m. "Pan Am"

Not returning: "V," "Brothers & Sisters," "No Ordinary Family," "Off the Map," "Detroit 187" and "Mr. Sunshine.

ABC looks to the past with TV lineup, orders 13 shows

(5/17/11) ABC introduced an overhauled prime-time TV schedule for next season that will feature eight new dramas, highlighted by a remake of "Charlie's Angels," the 1960s throwback "Pan Am" and a dose of workplace romance.

ABC will also roll out five new comedies in the most drastic change to a schedule by any of the major broadcast networks. The prime-time lineup, unveiled on Tuesday, is the first from new Entertainment President Paul Lee, whose mandate is to reverse several years of viewership declines.

Among the most anticipated of the ABC's new shows is "Pan Am," which will anchor the 10 p.m. time slot on Sunday just after the returning soap "Desperate Housewives." Set in the 1960s, "Pan Am" follows a cast of pilots and stewardess in what is portrayed as the golden, glamorous age of travel.

ABC will also go retro with "Charlie's Angels." The update of the 1970s classic will feature former soap star Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly of "Friday Night Lights," and Rachael Taylor from "Grey's Anatomy" as the three sexy, crime-solving detectives. The show will kick off critical Thursday nights, ahead of solid performers "Grey's" and "Private Practice."

Other new dramas include "Good Christian Belles," a soap set in Dallas; "Missing," a thriller starring Ashley Judd; "Once Upon A Time," a re-imagining of fairly tales; "Revenge," featuring film actress Madeleine Stowe; "Scandal," which follows the workplace drama and romance of a public relations firm; and "The River," an account of the search for a man gone missing in the Amazon.

ABC, a division of Walt Disney Co, is the third major network to roll out its 2011-12 schedule -- a TV season that is clearly drawing its inspirations from the song and dance routines of "Glee" and the retro sex appeal of "Mad Men."

NBC, majority owned by Comcast Corp, announced 12 new shows for the season, while News Corp's Fox introduced a more modest addition of seven shows. CBS will bring out its schedule on Wednesday.

After that, the broadcast networks get down to the business of negotiating billions of dollars worth of advance advertising sales during a period known as the upfront market.

Aside from new dramas, the other chief ambition of ABC is to find more comedy hits along the line of its wildly popular "Modern Family." As a lead-in to "Modern Family" on Wednesday nights, ABC will roll out "Suburgatory," a single-camera comedy that follows a father and daughter who move from New York City to the suburbs.

Other new comedies on the schedule include "Apartment 23," about a young woman who has just moved to Manhattan and lands herself in an odd-couple living situation; "Last Man Standing," starring sitcom veteran Tim Allen; the male-focused comedy "Man Up"; and "Work It," about two men who dress as women to get jobs -- reminiscent of the Tom Hanks 1980s sitcom "Bosom Buddies."

ABC picks up 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Good Christian Belles' and ten more

(5/13/11) After canceling "V," "Brothers & Sisters" and five other shows, ABC has given series orders to twelve pilots.

ABC as picked up dramas "Charlie's Angels," "Good Christian Belles," "Pan Am," "Revenge," The River," "Scandal" and "Once Upon a Time." Comedies "Last Man Standing," "Work It," "Suburgatory," "Man Up" and "Apartment 23" were also picked up to series, Deadline reports.

"Charlie's Angels" stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh in a modern take on the '70s series. "Good Christian Belles" (formerly "Good Christian Bitches") stars Leslie Bibb as a former high school mean girl who moves back home after her marriage ends. Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts also star in the series from "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star.

"Scandal" is from "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes and stars "Lost's" Henry Ian Cusick and Kerry Washington as a professional fixer. Emily VanCamp stars in the Count of Monte Cristo-inspired soap "Revenge" and "The River" follows a team searching for a missing adventurer in the Amazon.

"Once Upon a Time" is a fantasy drama starring Jennifer Morrison as a woman who is drawn into a town where fairy tales might be real. Ginnifer Goodwin co-stars as Snow White and Josh Dallas plays Prince Charming. Christina Ricci stars in "Pan Am," a soap set in the '60s that focuses on stewardesses and pilots.

"Apartment 23" stars Dreama Walker as girl who moves in with her worst nightmare in New York City, Krysten Ritter. James Van Der Beek co-stars as himself. Tim Allen stars in "Last Man Standing" as man's man living in a world dominated by women.

Which of these series interests you the most?

Few TV pilots will land on next fall's schedule

(5/6/11) Jack Donaghy, the boss on NBC's comedy "30 Rock," had had enough of TV inefficiencies and waste.

"Do you know what the business model is in the entertainment industry? Make 10 shows and hope that one of them works," huffed Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) to put-upon producer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) in a recent episode. "We produce more failed pilots than the French air force!"

Many flesh-and-blood executives share similar misgivings about pilot season, which after more than a half-century remains a sacred but extravagant custom of the TV biz.

By January of each season, scripts for dozens of pilots for prospective TV series are approved for production by the five broadcast networks. Each is bucking for a berth on the lineup next season. Then, during "upfront" week in mid-May, this frantic process is resolved when the networks announce their schedules.

Only a handful of new shows win a slot. The rest become landfill.

This year, nearly 90 pilots for scripted shows are in vying for a network home.

Among them are period shows such as "Pan Am," a glamorous soap about airline stewardesses in the mid-1960s, and "Poe," a whodunit set in the mid-1840s with Edgar Allan Poe as a writer-detective (both for ABC), and, for NBC, a melodrama set in Chicago at the Playboy Club during the 1960s heyday of sexual liberation.

There are remakes: "Charlie's Angels" (ABC) and "Wonder Woman" (NBC). And an Americanized version of the British police hit "Prime Suspect" (NBC), one of five imports.

Among the many supernatural series candidates, CW's "Awakening" centers on two sisters who are on opposite sides of a zombie uprising.

Series veteran Jimmy Smits could be back as a detective ("Metro," NBC). "Home Improvement" star Tim Allen seeks a sitcom comeback on ABC still agitating about malehood ("The Last Days of Man"). Kiefer Sutherland could return as a father with an autistic son who can predict the future ("Touch," Fox). And one-time "Buffy" star Sarah Michelle Geller would be a woman on the run who seeks refuge by inhabiting the identity of her twin sister, with unforeseen results ("Ringer," CBS).

Or maybe none of these shows will get a network nod. Before you get too excited about any of them, remember that the vast majority of pilots will go unseen and unmourned by the audience for which they were intended.

"The interesting thing about pilot season is, how it makes no sense whatever."

That's not make-believe exec Jack Donaghy speaking. It's real-life writer-producer Peter Tolan, whose past credits include "The Larry Sanders Show," "The Job," the films "Analyze This" and "Analyze That," and the Denis Leary firefighters drama "Rescue Me" (whose final episodes will air on FX this summer).

Every stage of pilot season "has some aspect of insanity to it," Tolan says with scarcely disguised wonder. And he should know. This go-around, he has not one but two pilots in the running.

Take the casting process, which for all these pilots happens all at the same time.

"You find you're rather desperate to hire certain people, but all of a sudden four or five different shows want them, too," Tolan says.

Few if any in the industry think the pilot system works very well. (For further evidence, just note the drought in breakout hits in recent seasons, and the traditional high attrition rate among each crop of freshman shows.) But no one has found a better way of creating and identifying shows that will succeed.

So what are you going to do?

One of Tolan's pair of projects is a half-hour comedy for Fox called "Council of Dads." Based on the best-seller by Bruce Feiler, this show would be about a guy who dies, but, beforehand, assembles a group of five men, including his father, to help his wife raise their kids - "and hilarity ensues," Tolan says. Kyle Bornheimer, Diane Farr and Ken Howard are in the cast.

The other comedy, for NBC, is called "The New World," whose characters (including Ed Begley Jr. and Robbie Benson) are historical re-enactors at a theme park set in 1637.

"I was trying to think of the worst possible work situation I could," explains Tolan, who, as with "Council," wrote the pilot script and served as an executive producer

He says most of "The New World" was shot outdoors ("We actually built a pilgrim village") in the Los Angeles area, while "Council of Dads" was based at a studio facility nearby.

"I would be shooting one show and, a few steps away, there would be rehearsals of the other," says Tolan by phone from his Santa Barbara, Calif., home. "I'd be shooting one of them while rewriting on that set the other one. There were a number of times I said, `Now which show is THIS?'"

Each pilot was delivered in late April to its network. There, each is being subjected to scrutiny by network execs and test audiences.

The morning of May 16, NBC will unveil its lineup. That afternoon, Fox will make its schedule known.

Tolan won't find out yea-or-nay on either pilot until the eleventh hour. So right now, like hundreds of others in TV's creative community, he waits to learn his fate in the pilot sweepstakes.

He's making no forecasts, but says he will be grateful to get either one of them on the air: "Two would be great, but I don't want to be greedy."

And he says he's not fretting.

"I guess that's how I've been at it this long and survived. You have to remember it's a game and not take it too seriously, or you'd tear your hair out."

Sounds like a man who has figured out pilot season.

Christina Ricci may fly with "Pan Am" pilot

(2/22/11) Christina Ricci is in negotiations to star in "Pan Am," a 1960s-set soap revolving around pilots and flight attendants at the storied airline.

Australian actress Margot Robbie has already been cast in the ABC project as one of Pan Am's flight attendants, while Michael Mosley ("Scrubs") will play one of the pilots. "ER" veteran Jack Orman wrote the script and will exec produce.

Ricci has periodically popped up on series television in guest roles including ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" in 2006, TNT's "Saving Grace" in 2009 and this year in CBS' "CSI."

The former child star of "Mermaids" and the "Addams Family" films went on to earn critical raves for adult roles in such films as "Buffalo '66," "The Ice Storm" and "The Opposite of Sex."

If Ricci can strike a deal, the actress would be the latest name star to join a broadcast pilot this season. Maria Bello, Amanda Peet and Ethan Hawke have already signed on to projects, while Minnie Driver and Ashley Judd are in negotiations.