Pan Am takes off

The much-hyped premiere of ABC’s new airline drama Pan Am took off on Sunday with respected sampling. Now the challenge is not to crash in the ratings and not have their membership in the mile-high club revoked.

The drama – about a group of stewardess who work for the now-defunct airline in the 1960’s (which filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1991) drew 11 million viewers and a 3.1 adult demo rating  and 8 share (18-49), defeating the season premiere of CSI: Miami on CBS in the 9 p.m. (CT), which had a 2.3/6 and 9.9 million viewers.

Elsewhere, a battle brewed between two female-targeted dramas – CBS’ The Good Wife and ABC’s Desperate Housewives. While Wife trounced Housewives int total viewers (10.7 million to 9.9 million), it was Housewives who had the upper hand in the adult demo (9.4/17 to 7.7/11). As for their lead-ins, the season premieres of The Amazing Race and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition scored a 3/7 and 2.3/6 in the key adult demo, respectively. Home Edition is moving to Fridays next month either to add some pizazz to otherwise boring night of TV or to die out altogether.

As for Fox’s Animation Domination block, the season premieres of all four shows in the block did very well – The  Simpsons had a 3.9 adult demo rating; The Cleveland Show earned a 3.1; Family Guy a 4.1; and American Dad! pulled in a 3.0, despite a 27 percent drop from its lead-in. On October 30, Allen Gregory takes over the time slot now occupied by Cleveland, which moves an hour earlier (to 6:30 p.m.), subjecting it to football pre-emptions, similar to what recent time period occupants King of the Hill and Malcolm in the Middle had to endure. The Cleveland Show would definitely be in the T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame if it weren’t doing so well.

The biggest draw Sunday evening of course, was the Pittsburgh Steelers-Indianapolis Colts game on NBC, which drew an 13/20 household rating/share a 8.3/21 in the key adult demo, and 20.4 million viewers. Earlier in the day, the rematch of the 2010 NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on Fox drew a whopping 24 million viewers and a 14/26 household rating and share. Locally, WFLD-TV nabbed a 33.2/58, while Fox affiliate WITI-TV in Milwaukee drew a huge 50.4/76.

Unfortunately, the results were the same as the Championship Game in January – the Packers beat the Bears 27-17 thanks to a poor offensive performance by the home team.  Hey, Jay “Gilligan” Cutler…maybe “Skipper” Lovie Smith should’ve whacked you upside the head with his sailor hat. The three-hour “tour” Sunday at Soldier Field was a joke.