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.
All times are EST:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Gremlins on ENC
Mansfield Park on FLIX
Batman on IFC
Gone With the Wind on TCM
The Mechanic on TMC
Overboard on CMT
Battleship on HBO
Aliens on MOMAX
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans on Syfy
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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