The Washington Post

ABC’s ‘Pan Am’ maiden voyage attracts 11 million viewers

“Pam Am” premiered to 11 million viewers. (Patrick Harbron/ABC)

That’s more than double the 5 million who’d caught the premiere of tony, new 60’s set drama “Playboy Club” – NBC’s dripping with verisimilitude answer to “Mad Men” on Monday of Premiere Week.

On the other hand, “Pan Am” had enjoyed a compatible lead-in — in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” season debut, which delivered about 10 million viewers.’

“Playboy,” meanwhile, had had to struggle with a “Sing-Off” reality series lead-in that only handed it about 5 million viewers. Yes, lead-in shows still matter.

“Pan Am” attracted about 1.4 million more viewers than had the season debut of “Brothers & Sisters” in the same one-hour time period last fall.

You may have noticed that “Pan Am” actually attracted about a million more viewers than its own “Desperate Housewives” leadin.

“Pan Am” is the first show to built on a “Desperate” lead-in since one of those sky-falling-in “Grey’s Anatomy” season finales did the trick, way back in May of ’06.

“Housewives” logged about 3 million fewer viewers than its season start last fall. That, despite the fact ABC had officially announced “last call” on “Housewives” a couple months ago, in hopes former fans would come scurrying back for what is officially announced as the final season.

A good part of “DH’s” decline was no doubt caused by CBS having moved it’s popular chick drama “Good Wife” from Tuesdays at 10, to Sundays at 9 this fall.

Preliminary Sunday ratings for CBS may change substantially because of a 30-minute football overrun earlier that night. But it appears about 10.5 million caught the season start of “The Good Wife,” edging out “Housewives” in tonnage.

“Housewives” clung to the title of Sunday night’s most popular non-football program among women in the 18-49 year-old-age bracket – the bread-and-butter of the broadcast TV industry. “The Good Wife” appears to have been the champ among women aged 50 years and older.

CBS moved “The Good Wife” this season because it had fumbled so much of the male audience the network was copping early on Tuesdays with its two “NCIS” dramas. It appears guys will not watch an acclaimed drama series with the word “Wife” in the title, if it stars a chick (Julianna Margulies) and is about something other than violent crime.

(CBS’s new series Wednesday at 10 drama, “Unforgettable,” also stars a chick — Poppy Montgomery in this case — but it’s a crime/cop show; sadly, we rest our case.)

Final numbers for Sunday night will not be available until Tuesday morning.


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