Is cultural nostalgia enough to get Pan Am Airlines flying again?

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Sep 21 2010


Everybody knows that glamorous air travel is decades behind us, kept alive only in movies and TV. (See: Mad Men, Catch Me If You Can.) ABC will try to keep the nostalgia going with a new period show based on Pan Am flight attendants—a project that could also be a springboard for reviving the iconic brand. Pan Am went bankrupt and closed down in the early '90s, eventually licensing its name to small carriers. Even that stopped a few years ago, but its classic logo has been at the heart of a must-have line of purses and accessories from designer Marc Jacobs, reports Variety. Now, there are rumblings about bringing Pan Am back as an international carrier. ABC, meanwhile, has ordered a pilot of a 1960s-set drama based on the cosmopolitan cocktail-waitresses-in-the-sky, which would serve as an hour-long prime-time brand builder if it goes forward. Veterans of ER and The West Wing are working on the project. Richard Branson's Virgin America starred in a TV show recently, but Fly Girls didn't last long, done in by canned stories, bad "acting" and pseudo reality. Still, it put the Virgin name on national TV (at no cost to the brand) and generated lots of press. Imagine what could happen with a good show?



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