There have been several emails and comments about this of the ilk "Why would ABC do this if they're planning to cancel the show?"
First of all, ABC isn't doing this, Sony, the show's producer, is doing it. Why? With the show defacto canceled by ABC's actions (one additional episode ordered, removed from the schedule after its 14 episodes air), they've got nothing to lose. Fans shouldn't kid themselves though, the show's not getting a second season, no matter how much PR fog Sony manages to puff out.
via press release:
Welcome Aboard "Pan Am" With Free Episodes on iTunes Starting Today
Two Free Songs and Series Soundtrack Also Debut on iTunes
CULVER CITY, Calif., Dec. 20, 2011 -- Starting today, television audiences can fly PAN AM at no cost with all nine available episodes from the first season of the ABC network drama available for free on the iTunes store at www.itunes.com/PanAm. The series soundtrack, PAN AM: Music From and Inspired By the Original Series, also debuts on iTunes today with two free songs.
"At a time of the year when audiences are away from their televisions and networks are in repeats, this is a great opportunity for people to watch and catch-up on PAN AM," said Chris Van Amburg, senior vice president of U.S. marketing, Sony Pictures Television. "We're confident that this promotion will generate enthusiasm for the show's January 8th return on ABC."
Starting today through Thursday, January 5th, viewers can go to www.itunes.com/PanAm for free downloads of the show's first nine episodes which include:
"Ich Bin Ein Berliner"
"We'll Always Have Paris"
"One Coin in a Fountain"
"The Genuine Article"
"Truth or Dare"
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"
In addition, two songs from the series soundtrack - "Just One More Chance" by Billie Holiday and "Break It To Me Gently" by Brenda Lee - are available for free download. The full track list from PAN AM: Music From and Inspired By the Original Series includes:
"Around The World" by Buddy Greco
"Fly Me To The Moon" by Grace Potter
"Call Me Irresponsible" by Bobby Darin
"Blue Skies" by Ella Fitzgerald
"The Girl From Ipanema" by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto w/ Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim
"New York City Blues" by Peggy Lee
"The Best Is Yet To Come" by Shirley Horn
"Mais Que Nada" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
"Just One More Chance" by Billie Holiday*
"I Can't Stop Loving You" by Count Basie
"Break It To Me Gently" by Brenda Lee*
"Do You Want To Know A Secret" by Nikki Jean
"Quando Quando Quando (Tell Me When)" by Connie Francis
"Destination Moon" by Dinah Washington
The digital soundtrack debuts today. The CD soundtrack will be available in stores on January 17th.
Free downloads of the first nine episodes of PAN AM will also be available on Amazon, VUDU, CinemaNow , Sony Video Unlimited and PlayStation(R)Store.
PAN AM, which returns with all new episodes beginning Sunday, January 8th at 10 PM ET/PT on ABC, follows the travels of a young flight crew as they set off on international adventures at the dawn of the Jet Age in the 1960s. The series, which has been having success internationally, has been sold in over 100 countries to date. The show's premiere on TV3 in Sweden was the highest rated foreign series premiere ever, while on CTV in Canada it ranked as the #1 new drama launch. PAN AM has also premiered to outstanding ratings in Ireland (RTE2) and Norway (TV3).
PAN AM stars Christina Ricci ("Penelope") as Maggie, Margot Robbie ("Neighbours") as Laura, Michael Mosley ("Justified") as Ted, Karine Vanasse ("Polytechnique") as Colette, Mike Vogel ("The Help," "Blue Valentine") as Dean and Kelli Garner ("Going the Distance") as Kate.
Series creator Jack Orman ("ER," "Men of a Certain Age"), Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Parenthood," "Mr. Sunshine"), Nancy Hult Ganis ("Akleeh and the Bee") and Steven Maeda ("Lie to Me," "Lost") are executive producers. "Pan Am" is produced by Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.
(*Free song download.)