This is getting to be the new routine. Knowing that original content is king, networks and non-networks everywhere are lining up to either create their own programs or, like Netflix and now, online retailer Amazon, resurrect failed shows like ABC’s period drama Pan Am.
According to recent reports, the online retailer is looking for ways to broaden its streaming content, and since it already carries the first season of Pan Am, has been in contact with Sony Pictures Television about potentially serving as the program’s new home, now that ABC has sent the flight attendants packing.
Pan Am came into being as the second Mad Men wannabe, but unlike poorly received entry The Playboy Club on NBC, Pan Am, boasting a cast featuring Christina Ricci, Mike Vogel (Cloverfield) and Kelli Garner (The Aviator), managed to grab solid ratings and reviews for it premiere. Unfortunately, the series gradually faltered from there on, with its fate being handed down earlier this month.
Beyond already offering season 1, the attraction Amazon has towards the show comes down to its ability to attract an audience. And while the program stumbled a bit in the United States, the series remains potentially lucrative on the global market, where it recently received the Rose d’Or Award – thought of as Europe’s highest honor for TV. To that end, Sony may be looking long and hard at the list of suitors to keep the program alive; a list that now includes Amazon, apparently.
Since Amazon is a direct competitor with content providers like Netflix and Hulu – two of the biggest examples of entertainment providers eschewing the traditional network definition – it has learned the key to garnering more paying customers is to offer additional content that cannot be viewed anywhere else. While Hulu just recently jumped on board the original content wagon by offering a couple of new series from Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, Netflix is practically old hat at this. Well, at announcing their interest in a dead series and then passing, anyway.
So far, Netflix has only guaranteed the revival of Arrested Development, but it had also expressed interest in the viability of resurrecting Terra Nova and The River (both of which it declined), as well as Reno 911! In addition, Netflix has also already aired the first season of its original series Lilyhammer, and has programs like Hemlock Grove starring Famke Janssen from horror director Eli Roth and Orange is the New Black from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan on the way. So, it’s fair to say that the red envelope folks have a decent head start on Hulu and Amazon.
As another example of how the television landscape is ever changing, television provider DirecTV has even gotten in on the act by picking up the Glenn Close, Rose Byrne lawyer series Damages from FX. It seems clear that the model television viewers have grown accustomed – that of content being offered by broadcast networks, cable or pay-cable on a predetermined schedule – is likely going to be challenged by the new model these streaming content providers have in mind.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on the possibility of Pan Am being given new life through Amazon, as news develops.