March 01, 2013 6:02pm PT by Michael O'Connell
ABC Pulls 'Zero Hour' From Schedule
The mediocre midseason has claimed another victim. ABC has pulled freshman drama Zero Hour from the schedule, effective immediately.
News of the series' fate comes as little surprise after a soft debut of 6.4 million viewers and a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49. Zero Hour dropped in its second outing before bottoming with just 5 million viewers and a 1.0 adults rating on Feb. 28 -- despite a lack of original competition from most broadcast networks.
Encores of Shark Tank will air in the series' stead for the next two Thursdays until Wife Swap starts a seven-week stretch March 21. Wipeout returns to the hour May 9.
The 8 p.m. Thursday time slot has been a tricky one for ABC to fill. Autumn launch Last Resort opened to a relatively promising 2.2 adults rating and 9.1 million viewers in September before falling sharply. Still, after its November cancelation, the network did let the Shawn Ryan drama finish its run in the hour.
Produced by ABC Studios, Zero Hour was created by Paul Scheuring and stars ER veteran Anthony Edwards -- as well as Jacinda Barrett, Scott Michael Foster, Addison Timlin, Carmen Ejogo and Michael Nyqvist. The rather complicated conspiracy-theory premise had many referencing Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, though it was not dismissed by critics. The Hollywood Reporter chief TV critic Tim Goodman praised the series' risk-taking, calling it "worthy of viewers' attention."
Zero Hour joins NBC's Do No Harm and CBS' The Job as midseason debuts to get the ax. The CW's Cult is in similar territory, getting shipped off to Fridays after just two episodes.
It is unclear where the remaining episodes of Zero Hour will air, though it will most likely be during the summer.