Ratings: Despite Dwindling Housewives, ABC's Pan Am Has Solid Take-Off

ABC’s Pan Am flew some very friendly skies in its Sunday night premiere, this despite leading out of Desperate Housewives‘ lowest-rated season opener ever.

The ladies of Wisteria Lane at 9 pm drew 9.8 million total viewers and a 3.1 demo rating, plunging 24 and 28 percent, respectively, from the show’s year-ago premiere. Pan Am however built on that audience, checking in 10.9 million viewers while scoring a 3.1 rating. What’s more, those tallies represent increases of 13 and 7 percent over what Brothers & Sisters did in the time slot a year ago.

Does ABC’s Pan Am Deliver a Smooth Takeoff? Our Fall TV First Impression

While NBC’s Sunday Night Football of course dominated the evening with an average of 17.8 million viewers and 7.2 rating, the premieres of Fox’s The Simpsons (7.9 mil/3.8) and Family Guy (7.6 mil/4.1) came away with the two best 18-49 ratings of any scripted Sunday shows. As for the rest of Fox’s Animation Domination line-up, The Cleveland Show (6 mil/3.1) and American Dad (5.7 mil/3.0) were both flat versus prior premieres.

Premiere In Review: Did Good Wife Alicia Do a Bad, Bad Thing?

Lastly, the numbers for CBS are subject to change since their slate was delayed by football in 10 percent of the markets. But as it stands now, The Amazing Race (10.5 million viewers, 2.9 rating) dropped 5 and 22 percent; The Good Wife (10.5 mil/2.2) was down double digits from its Season 2 (Tuesday opener), placing fourth in the demo; and CSI: Miami (10 mil/2.2) plunged 16 and 31 percent. “That decrease,” says Horatio, whipping off his sunglasses, “is killer.”

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45 Comments
  1. Robert says:

    I’m shocked Desperate Housewives didn’t get more viewers! The show is the only show in history of me watching television to have me gasp at the very end! People who loved the first season will love the final season! Can’t wait for next week! However, I didn’t watch Pan Am. It just isn’t my type of show.

  2. Christa says:

    Pan am was good there was alot of different layers to the show that I did see going into the piolit

  3. Sivat says:

    Watched The Amazing Race, Desperate Housewives, Pan Am, and DVRed The Simpsons. (Love that NEDNA is happening!)
    Pan Am could’ve used MORE Christina Ricci (the main reason I watched), but it was intriguing enough for me to tune in next week.

  4. kimmy says:

    no need to say that Desperate Housewives doesn’t stand a chance in front of The good wife. What about the good wife ratings?

  5. mia says:

    Pan Am wasn’t amazing, but it’s definitely a pleasant way to spend the end of a Sunday. Definitely a more engaging choice than the last 2 seasons of Brothers and Sisters.

    I was one of those who skipped out on Desperate Housewives. Guess that cliffhanger murder, wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger because I really didn’t need to find out how it turned out. I’m sure I will catch up at some point in the season.

  6. TheFlyGuy85 says:

    Let’s band together and fight for a 9th season of Desperate Housewives by sending Apples to ABC! 

    Please visit my website at http://www.SaveDesperateHousewives.org.

    There are 9 million fans – let our voices be heard!

  7. Carly says:

    I enjoyed Pan Am and am happy to see it had solid ratings. DH’s were a bit lower than expected but it still took the demo. OUCH for The Good Wife – all the critical praise and coming off an Emmy win for Julianna and it still get a demo in the low 2′s. Three Rivers had higher demos and CBS canned it after less than 13 episodes.

    • shaun says:

      The Good Wife is so overrated,I don’t understand why anyone would watch it.

    • CeeCee says:

      Unfortunately, The Good Wife is now caught in CBS’s Sunday Night Shuffle…shows rarely start on time during the football season and for a show dependent on continuity…this was a bad move! I hope CBS will come to its senses and move it back to Tuesday night…

      • Janet says:

        I agree CeeCee. Bad move by CBS to move this show to Sunday. I lost the entire second half because I DVR’d it. Now have to log on and wade through the commercial nightmare that CBS locks you into online.

  8. Mikaylah says:

    I do not watch Desperate Housewives, way too much drama for me. I did, however, watch the Pan Am pilot. I was surprised how much I liked it. It was light and fun, and yet I also really enjoyed the espionage background as well. It also has a great cast, so I am excited to see where it goes.

    • dan says:

      “Pan Am” was too light, no substance at all. Turned it off after about 20 minutes. Maybe it got better in the second half, but I doubt I’ll be tuning in again.

  9. Matt says:

    The pilot of Pan Am did well!

    *gets coat*

  10. Sivat says:

    DH’s ratings really don’t matter. The show is ending in May. It’s not like they’re going to pull it off the air in November or something!

  11. Joshua says:

    To me, The Good Wife done great. 10.5 million viewers, with STIFF competition with Desperate Housewives on ABC. I expected DH to have big numbers, 9.8 is low!!

  12. SK says:

    I gave up Desperate Housewives several seasons ago. The first season is still awesome, though, I think everything past that never quite lived up. I caught the tail-end of yesterday’s episode, and the callback to the first episode was intriguing…but not intriguing enough to watch it again.

    I did catch Pan Am, though, and was surprised. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad either. I’ll keep watching.

  13. monica says:

    Nice to see that CBS is promoting their Sunday night line-up, oh wait nevermind, they forgot to do that.

    • lil Jo says:

      They can’t promote the Sunday night lineup while football is on. Because it will never start on time on the East Coasts. So what do they say tune in at 8, oh no wait maybe 8:15 or, is it 8:30.

      CBS needs to do what Fox does, make football schedule end at 8 (add on a wrap up show or something), move 60 Min to 8 and then have a show for 9 and 10PM. This way if the last game runs long you still have some cushion built in and you don’t lose viewers because they don’t know what time to watch.

      • John Berggren says:

        Sports and network television do not mix. Pre-empting is the devil. There are 1000 channels, and multiple digital bands. Create a different outlet for sports and leave scripted programming alone.

  14. John Berggren says:

    I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m glad Pan Am got off to a good start. I love Christina Ricci, and I’m thrilled she’ll be on TV every week.
    I am sorry that there wasn’t a wrap up for Brothers & Sisters. Even I fell away for most of the final season, but without a proper finale, I’m unenthusiastic about watching the episodes I missed.

  15. IBS says:

    Although I didn’t watch PanAm, in the 1960′s, the stewards’s had to have a certain look: Couldn’t be over a certain height, weight and
    must be very good looking. It was considered a great job; just as a Playboy model.

  16. kevin says:

    Did watch Amazing Race and Pan Am last night. These two are worth watching but I’m only planning to watch the pilot of PAN AM before how good the show is. Don’t know if ABC can replace Desperate Housewives in its timeslot before the series ends and I don’t know how the new series ONCE UPON A TIME will fare since it won’t debut on October 23rd.

  17. gloria says:

    DH still stomped The Good Wife in the demo, lol. So if DH is supposedly doing so crappy, what is The Good Wife: diarrhea?

  18. Anne says:

    Moving The Good Wife to Sundays was just dumb. Football overruns will always hurt their numbers.

  19. Dawn says:

    Love the Good Wife. Will and Alicia are HOT together. I’m disliking her husband so much more. Awesome show!!

  20. Gretchen says:

    I looked forward to Pan Am and wasn’t disappointed, it looks like a fun interesting show with some good potential (CIA stewardess?) Can’t wait to see how it develops!

  21. Brad says:

    PAN AM was okay, but missed some of the dialouge because the music was too loud. Won’t watch it again. Will stick with The Good Wife as it is awesome but CBS should have left it alone. When GW is over back to football as that is the only good thing on after GW.

  22. Caro says:

    I really liked it. I think it has great potential and it was fun to watch so I’ll keep watching!

  23. Boiler says:

    First off I agree with the CBS comment. There will be times when they are an hour behind. I would guess after football done and we get NBC’s normal crap the other ratings will shoot up instead of watched on DVR. Doubt ABC did itself any favors announcing DH’s last year

  24. charlie says:

    DH was good, but I’m not that sad to see it go. Better that it ends on a good note unlike Brothers and Sisters, Went from loving that show to dying of boredom! Still Enjoying the Good Wife. I really liked Pan Am.. I would like to see more of Christina Ricci since that is why I watched but it was really a lot better then I expected.

  25. jake says:

    Housewives – - i’ve never laughed so hard an episode of this show — so funny — if it’s because marc cherry is no longer involved — maybe this show would have lasted longer — so well written — at least the premiere episode.

  26. Carla says:

    “Desperate” did’nt go another season BECAUSE of The Good Wife moving.They did not want their ass kicked!
    And the actors really wanted 1 more season after this.
    But enough already,they lost me after the wonderful first season.
    Marc Cherry had a great idea,but too controlling to let his series really fly!

  27. michele marcani says:

    Use to work for PAN AM and I say I am very proud that some one has a good idea to do this serie because people forget things to fast.
    It was a just a great airline. I am sur all Panamers in the world will love to share this serie. Right now, we cannot see this series..Hope soon. Internet is helping us to be aware of this.

    Many, Many thanks