The end of Zero Hour has come, as the conspiracy drama has been cancelled by ABC after three low-rated episodes. Per TVLine, the network will pull the show from the schedule effective immediately, though no replacement has been named. Following the lowest-rated in-season scripted premiere ever for ABC, last night’s episode of Zero Hour hit a series low 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic.
With American Idol and The Big Bang Theory combining for nearly 7.0 in the demo and 23 million total viewers last night, in addition to a premiere on a lowly watched night (February 14th) and little to no awareness of the project, Zero Hour couldn’t find an audience and now furthers the so-called “Thursday curse” for the network. ABC has had difficulty filling the Thursdays at 8:00 slot for quite some time; since the 2009-10 season, FlashForward, The Deep End, My Generation, Charlie’s Angels, Missing, and Last Resort have all failed to gain a foothold.
The network has a handful of unscripted shows (Wipeout, Bet on Your Baby) that could be used to limp to the end of the season, in addition to repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Next season, though, they’ll have to decide if they want to launch another new drama there, fill the hour with unscripted content, or move an established scripted player (Castle, Body of Proof) there. Friday powerhouse Shark Tank is an outside option for the slot next season; it has an upscale audience that has grown each season its been on the air, meaning that the move to a weeknight might not be as damaging as it would be for another show. Plus, this could open up Fridays for a TGIF line-up, if they decide to keep at least two of Last Man Standing, Malibu Country, and The Neighbors.
Zero Hour starred Anthony Edwards as Hank Galliston, the publisher of a paranormal-enthusiast magazine who gets caught up in a worldwide conspiracy while trying to find the man who kidnapped his wife. Co-starring were Carmen Ejogo, Jacinda Barrett, Scott Michael Foster, Addison Timlin, and Michael Nyqvist.
Do you think that ABC made the right choice in cancelling Zero Hour? Will the remaining 10 episodes ever see the light of day? What should they do with the timeslot in the fall?
UPDATE: According to TV Guide, Shark Tank will air in the timeslot for the next two weeks, followed by Wife Swap. Wipeout will take over on May 9th.