Since ABC’s Pan Am and NBC’s The Playboy Club announced launches for fall, there has been speculation over whether there is room in primetime’s schedule to support both historical dramas. The two highly stylized hour long programs have both attracted notable cast members and plenty of press. Of course, there’s always the chance neither show will be up to snuff, but BBC is willing to throw its support into one pot. Noting Pan Am Airline’s importance worldwide, BBC has picked up Pan Am to air this fall.

With its period piece charm and internationally marketable appeal, Pan Am will air on BBC2 come fall. BBC2 Controller Janice Hadlow believes the show will do well amongst U.K. viewers who have embraced time period programming like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire in the past. Unlike those more closely States-bound programs, Pan Am will take the show to different cities every week, which should broaden its appeal further. There’s no word yet on how close to American dates Pan Am will air, but according to THR, BBC has scaled back the acquisition of outside programs in recent years. Cementing Pan Am into BBC, if only through an initial announcement, is still definitely good news.

As to the Pan Am/ Playboy Club question? At the end of the day, Pan Am was not picked over The Playboy Club. Pan Am was chosen because the idea of the product fits BBC2’s audience and outlook. There’s no telling where the ratings will end up post show time. However, BBC2’s acquisition of Pan Am does give the program a safety net if it doesn’t do as well as ABC has projected. I still think Amber Heard wears her costume more confidently than Christina Ricci. Then again, she has to.

Pan Am will air in the states on Sunday evenings at 10 p.m.
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