TV tonight: The premiere of Zero Hour with Anthony Edwards

New series marks Anthony Edwards’ return to TV.

Photo: ABC/Zero Hour

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2013 —After 8 years on “ER,” Anthony Edwards said he was through with television dramas. This in itself is reason enough to give ABC’s newest show “Zero Hour” a chance.

Why would an actor who had sworn off the daily grind of an hour-long TV drama choose to step back into the genre now? Think “Da Vinci Code” meets “Lost” and you have the basic premise of creator Paul Scheuring’s (Prison Break) latest attempt to slow the dumbing down of TV programming.

In this ambitious series, Edwards plays Hank Galliston, editor of Modern Skeptic magazine. True to its name, the magazine investigates paranormal happenings and disproves conspiracy theories. That is, until Hank’s wife Laila, (played by Jacinda Barrett), is kidnapped by an assassin on the FBI’s most wanted list as part of a conspiracy that involves Nazis, clocks, the Anti-Christ and the end of the world, among other things.

The plot is ambitious to say the least. The real question is whether viewers will want to do the work to keep up with a story that is this complicated. It is one thing to watch Tom Hanks unravel a complicated plot for 2 hours in a Dan Brown inspired film; it is another thing all together to expect a TV audience to do it week in and week out. I’m giving it a chance simply because it is willing to make the audience work to keep up. Whether or not it develops a devoted following in the process is yet to be determined.

Putting “Zero Hour” up against American Idol and The Big Bang Theory seems like a death sentence from the start. It puts a lot of pressure on Edwards to make the show compelling enough to pull fans from these two ratings giants.

The temptation to over-complicate the story line so viewers don’t dare miss an episode is the real minefield “Zero Hour” must successfully navigate. Any alternative to mindless reality shows has my vote from the start, and it’s the main reason I’ll give it a chance tonight.


Tonight’s viewing: 

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Zero Hour: (New) After Hank Galliston’s wife, Leila, finds a special antique clock at a flea market, she is abducted by an international terrorist; as the search for Leila progresses, Hank questions everything he ever believed in. Anthony Edwards stars.

Here’s a preview trailer:

CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (New) While the guys try to give their significant others the perfect Valentine’s Day, Raj and Stuart throw a “lonely people” party at the comic book store.

FOX: American Idol: (New) This season’s Top 40 semifinalists are revealed.

NBC: Community: (New) This Valentine’s Day, it’s Halloween at Greendale! En route to a Halloween party, the study group makes an unexpected trip to Pierce’s mansion when they learn he accidentally locked himself in his panic room.

CW: The Vampire Diaries: (New) On the island, Damon has an ugly run-in with a Hunter named Vaughn (guest star Bewley), and realizes he is one of The Five. Stefan confesses his true feelings about the possibility of becoming human again to Elena. When a stunning new piece of information about the cure is suddenly revealed, it changes the stakes for everyone.

8:30 p.m.

CBS: Two and a Half Men: (New) Walden, depressed about being single on Valentine’s Day, tries to convince Kate to give him another chance. Meanwhile, Alan’s Valentine’s Day plans take a turn for the worse.

NBC: Parks and Recreation: (New) Leslie and Ben organize a black tie gala to raise money for their park, but their plans are derailed when a citywide emergency response drill is called.

9 p.m.

ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) Owen is faced with tough decisions as Seattle Grace spirals toward financial ruin; Jo and Alex try to save an infant’s life; April turns to Jackson for dating advice.

CBS: Person of Interest: (New) Reese and Finch race to save a hotel maid’s life but find themselves surrounded by more suspects than they may be able to eliminate when they realize any guest or staff member could be her potential killer. Meanwhile, Detective Carter weighs a major offer from the FBI.

FOX: Glee: (New) Love is in the air for Will and Emma’s wedding.

NBC: The Office: (New) Andy copes with the realities of returning; Pam applies for a job in Philly.

CW: Beauty and the Beast: (New) Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) are unsure if they can trust Alex (guest star Bridget Regan) with the truth about his past. Evan (Max Brown) realizes that Claire (Kelly Overton), the woman he is dating, is hiding things from him.

10 p.m.

ABC: Scandal: (New) Fitz doesn’t know who he can trust; a handsome stranger (Scott Foley) sparks Olivia’s interest; the team at Pope & Associates works for David Rosen on a case.

CBS: Elementary: (New)  Sherlock investigates what he believes will be an open-and-shut case after Detective Bell is attacked. However, the case takes an unexpected turn when the suspected assailant is found dead. Meanwhile, Sherlock encourages Joan to learn self-defense.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit: (Repeat) A man witnesses his wife’s rape and kidnapping while video chatting with her on his way home from a business trip. The abductors seek a ransom, and the case grows more complex as detectives probe deeper.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Moonshiners: Secret Summit—Full Proof at 8 p.m. On DSC

West End Salvage at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on HGTV

Swamp People at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Project Runway at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX

The First 48 at 10 p.m. on A&E

Immortalized at 10 p.m. on AMC

Kathy at 10 p.m. on BRAVO

Moonshiners: Tickle’s Guide to Love at 10 p.m. on DSC

Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Archer at 10 p.m. on FX

Big Rig Bounty Hunters at 10 p.m. on History Channel

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

King of the Nerds at 10 p.m. on TBS

What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Gremlins on ENC

Mansfield Park on FLIX

Batman on IFC

Gone With the Wind on TCM

The Mechanic on TMC

9 p.m.

Overboard on CMT

Battleship on HBO

Aliens on MOMAX

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans on Syfy

Later tonight:

27 Dresses at 9:30 p.m. on FMC

Real Steel at 9:35 p.m. on TMC

The Haunted Mansion at 9:50 p.m. on ENC

Resident Evil: Apocalypse at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

The Prince & Me at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Dream House at 10:30 p.m. on HBO

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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