TV’s Latest Casualty – “Zero Hour”

Zero Hour

A Review of ABC’s “Zero Hour” by Tiffany A. White

I was all set to review ABC’s new The Da Vinci Code-esque TV series, Zero Hour, this week… but then, in typical network fashion here lately, ABC cancelled it after only three episodes.

Uh-oh… here we go again.

Made in Jersey was the first this TV season to suffer at the hands of an antiquated ratings system. Granted, it wasn’t the best show, but it also wasn’t given much of a chance before receiving the exact same fate after only airing two episodes.

Do No Harm was the next program to suffer from the network’s inability to change with the times after only two episodes. Who watches live TV anymore? I personally don’t know many people who do… not when we have access to the technology of the DVR, OnDemand, and online episodes.

This is upsetting… not because Do No Harm and Made in Jersey were my new favorite shows, but because of how, in essence, the networks treated these series.

And now, Zero Hour. Are you kidding me?

I disagree with cancellations all the time. Perhaps that’s because I like so much television. When one likes five-hundred thousand television shows (okay, that’s a bit high… but everyone catches my drift), frustrations with cancellations are expected. But all of that aside, I am completely disappointed with the network’s decision to kill this particular program… and after only three episodes.

First of all, any night and time slot is a tough one these days. Viewers already have an abundance of top shows to choose from any night of the week during the primetime hours. Did the network truly believe their freshman series would outrank all of the other established programs? How about before cancelling, try moving the series to another night or time? Or, if absolutely dead-set on cancelling, why not at least air the episodes already “in the can” instead of hastily removing it from the TV schedule?

Networks, please stop playing with viewers. Give us a chance to fall in love with new shows. Dropping a bomb on a freshman series like this does not make us, particularly me, want to give the new shows on your network a chance until they’ve established themselves… and by then, it could be too late.

Now, I’m really hesitant to give Red Widow a try…

But in case anyone is interested in what the most recent network casualty, Zero Hour, was about:

The story begins in 1938. With the Nazis gaining power, the Catholic Church decides to move a hidden treasure from beneath a Cathedral, where it has been locked away for a very long time, and leave its fate to the future—to “the twelve.”

The number twelve is very symbolic in this story—twelve numbers on a clock; twelve men to save the world; the twelve apostles. These twelve are not the Biblical apostles we’re familiar with, but the twelve men (including the likes of Albert Einstein) that the church entrusted to save the world in 1938. Each man (and woman) was given a secret that could end the world. They scattered to all corners of the world to keep the secret from the Nazis… each equipped with their own clock.

If the twelve clocks, the twelve pieces of the puzzle are discovered and fall into the wrong hands, a storm will come… a war unlike any other… Zero Hour.

Fast forward to the present…

After his wife’s abduction, Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards) finds a clock at his house that he doesn’t recognize and cracks it open; he believes his wife must have just recently acquired the antique for her shop. He opens the piece to find a diamond—a diamond encoded with an old treasure map containing a language assigned to the priests that died over two centuries ago.

While digging for answers, Hank receives a call from the man holding his wife. Instead of telling the FBI what the true ransom is—the clock—Hank tells them that the terrorist wants money. They attempt to track him down, but the terrorist sends them on a wild goose chase while attacking a priest, Hank’s friend (played by Charles S. Dutton), who is holding the treasure. This leaves Hank with no other choice but to take matters into his own hands.

The pilot moves fast and Hank uncovers many things at a rapid speed, leaving the audience wondering how exactly he knows what to do next—it’s a bit unbelievable if you ask me, even if he does have investigative skills as the head of a magazine. But this is TV, and the action has to move fast to pull viewers in, so why not just jump right into it and not ask questions?

The creators have claimed this series is not The Da Vinci Code; however, for those that enjoy Dan Brown’s novels and conspiracy theories (Nazis, the Catholic Church, and international mysteries), this TV series would have been one to check out.

And I’m more inclined to call Zero Hour a mini-series. Why? Because the main storyline of Hank and his wife’s abduction was supposed to wrap up this season in a thirteen episode arc. Each episode was supposed to reveal one clue at a time until the story concluded in the thirteenth episode. As to what these clues are, I will not share, nor does it matter anymore; but I liked where this story was going.

Oh, and if Goose, I mean Dr. Greene, I mean Anthony Edwards, isn’t enough, the series also starred these familiar faces: Scott Michael Foster (The River and Californication) as Aaron; Addison Timlin (also from Californication) as Rachel; Carmen Ejogo (Alex Cross) as Beck; and Michael Nyqvist (Millennium) as White Vincent.

But like I said, it doesn’t matter now—it was cancelled and removed from ABC’s schedule after only three episodes.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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