Retro TV takes wing with ‘Pan Am’

Hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed drama “Mad Men” comes the high-flying “Pan Am,” ABC-TV’s retro look at the swinging sixties. Debuting this fall the show stars Christina Ricci, Karine Vanasse, Kelli Garner and Margot Robbie. New York magazine is reporting that Jonah Lotan, who plays an ambitious new pilot, is being replaced.

ABC bills the show as full of “passion, jealousy and espionage. In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world.”

The executive producer and writer is Jack Orman, who served in similar capacities on “ER” and “JAG.”

The show’s appeal may lie in its contrast with air travel today. No doubt the writers will handle body searches differently than the Transportation Security Administration. As for the soundtrack, producers have chosen the perfect backdrop for a martini-loving generation, Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me.”

Hopefully the show will fare better than the airline. A cultural icon of the 1960s, Pan American World Airways operated from 1927 until 1991. After declaring bankruptcy that year its assets were acquired by Delta Air Lines.