EXCLUSIVE: It’s been three months since ABC aired the last episode of Pan Am and almost two weeks since the network officially canceled the freshman series. But the 1960s drama is not dead, at least not yet. As I hinted in my story from two weeks ago, Pan Am producer Sony Pictures TV has been exploring a play on cable or other platforms. I have now learned that the studio has had conversations with Amazon about potentially picking up the show. (Amazon already carries Pan Am‘s first season.) Like its fellow streaming brethren Hulu and Netflix, Amazon, along with Microsoft’s Xbox, has been looking to enter the original programming space.
DirecTV entered the original series arena by picking up canceled broadcast series — NBC’s Friday Night Lights and FX’s Damages. Netflix is doing it too with a new season of Arrested Development. Picking up Pan Am would certainly put Amazon on the map, though it seems at odds with the company’s recently announced plans to focus on comedy and children’s programming produced by its newly launched Amazon Studios. Because it ran on ABC only for a brief time and because Amazon already airs Pan Am‘s produced episodes, the streaming service can embrace the series and brand it as its own. It would also complement Amazon’s upcoming comedy slate with a high-end drama the service likely can’t produce on its own just yet.
Sony TV has an incentive to keep Pan Am going. The series, which started off great on ABC before quickly losing traction, is a big international seller for the studio. It is particularly popular in Europe, recently winning the best series category at this year’s Rose d’Or awards, considered Europe’s top television honor. Pan Am is one of several cancelled series that have been shopped around. ABC’s Cougar Town has become a success story, making a leap to TBS, Netflix looked at Fox’s Terra Nova and ABC’s The River but ultimately passed, while CBS’ Unforgettable has been pitched to TNT and Lifetime.