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'Pan Am' maybe gone by day's end

"Pan Am," premiered Sept. 25, 2011.

"Pan Am," premiered Sept. 25, 2011. (Credit: ABC)

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, "Pan Am" fans, but the end is nigh for this worthy drama. The return last night -- yes, there was an original episode -- was seen by a hair over 4 million viewers.

Worse, the young adult demo barely scratched out a 1.3, tying it with "The Firm." Those kinds of numbers simply can't sustain a prime time drama on a  network like ABC.

Why is this unfortunate? Besides the human cost -- and a lot of people in the New York production work on this show -- "Pan Am" was one of the better launches of the 2011 fall season; loved the pilot, or at the very least the look of the pilot, and loved the show's apparent ambitions --  to capture  a lost part of New York (and American) culture, and do so in a way that would try to do justice by a symbol that was once so potent. But the show had creative problems, which ABC acknowledged, and struggled to bring back viewers who had sampled. 

I hope I'm wrong, and that ABC maybe shifts to another night, or does something -- not sure what those options would be -- to salvage it. But the numbers are harsh.  

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