Fall TV: Pan Am Stewardesses vs. Walking Dead’s Zombies

Jump to Comments

Did everyone vote for the People’s Choice Nominees? You still can, and the field is wide open so now’s the time to make your voice heard. There’s zero downside, you can vote as much as you want, and this is indeed one of Hollywood’s rarest opportunities: the chance to select the best something all by yourself, where your vote actually means something. So go ahead and voice your choice.

Now…moving on to TV, because we’re getting down to the wire with the new shows and we know for a fact that the prime-time purge is not over. In fact, do you remember what you watched last Sunday night? Were you one of  the 7.3 million people watching The Walking Dead ? If you were, you helped set a cable viewership record. (Last time these numbers were seen was a little psychiatric /crime family drama set in New Jersey.) Now, other than the fact that The Walking Dead must be a pretty amazing show, this could signal danger for another Sunday offering.

Is it curtains for Pan Am?

Due to this blink-and-it’s-gone era of cost-cutting, we’re pretty used to shows that don’t work getting the axe. The Walking Dead may in fact have put another nail in Pan Am’s coffin – but , to play devil’s advocate, maybe not. Here’s why. ABC may figure that after the casualties to date (and having axed their own Charlie’s Angels) maybe it’s better to save a little face and keep those stewardesses flying. After all, they’ve sure spent zillions promoting the show. NBC’s canceled two big shows, and CBS has canceled one, so ABC may be feeling like they have some leeway. Similarly, perhaps having a Sunday night period piece  – even despite the ratings freefall – lends a certain credibility because after all, the notion of a great American airline and the girls who manned it is kind of attractive in a Go Team Yay USA! sort of way. After all, ABC = Disney and years ago, Disney ruled Sunday nights for lots and lots of people (myself included).
Or, the show may already have met an ignominious death before you even read this blog. That’s how TV works these days.  If they do cancel it, we need to applaud them for trying. If they don’t, right now it’s not very interesting anymore and it should probably go. Just so long as they don’t touch Revenge. My guess is they’ll lose Pan Am and move on.
Per Sunday night ratings however, a show that’s not going anywhere is The Walking Dead. It did gangbusters. Are you a fan? Plenty of people are, and admittedly it’s far too scary for me but I’m always curious about something that’s so wildly popular. I’m fascinated by why it’s such a hit. Is it because a) there’s not too much else out there that’s genuinely scary? Or, is it b) our Halloween’s-upon-us-fixation with dead/scary things? Is it c) the way that the show creates a very real – and very palpable-post-apocalyptic setting that literally hemorrhages suspense? Or is it d) just fun to watch zombies, at any time and in any place – especially weekly? I honestly don’t know what the appeal is, but clearly they’re doing something right to the sheer delight of fans everywhere. In fact, let’s make zombies our poll.
Today’s poll:
1)     28 Days Later
2)    Dawn of the Dead

3)   Shaun of the Dead
4)    Zombieland

For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!