TV Wasteland: Zero Hour Is Coming (

By:Rob Vaux
Date: Monday, February 11, 2013

 ABC has chosen Valentine’s Day for an interesting bit of counter-programming: Zero Hour, a conspiracy series with a solid cast and intriguing premise. Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards) makes a living debunking crackpot theories, only to find himself plunged in the middle of one when his wife mysteriously disappears. A map found in an antique clock may lead to the answers, but only after a season (and perhaps multiple seasons) of exploring a vast global conspiracy stretching back into antiquity. 

ABC has tried this kind of thing before with mixed results. FlashForward started brilliantly then quickly petered out, while Lost went through enough ups and downs to cover a dozen shows. Zero Hour has a trump card in Anthony Edwards, a terrific actor who thrives on the week-to-week demands of network TV. And it’s encouraging to see ABC taking chances on different programming, especially after Lost’s less-than-admirable ending. You can go to to see the first episode now and see how they did. Otherwise, it airs this Thursday, February 14th at 8:00 PM EST on ABC.


The Following (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
Maggie has it in for Hardy, even as the show gives us some insight into Hardy’s past with Claire.
Continuum (Syfy, 8:00 PM EST)
Liber8 targets Kiera’s grandmother, in a neat revision of the Terminator scenario. Here’s hoping the cause-effect paradox doesn’t wipe out the universe.
Being Human (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Liam pits Nora and Josh against Aiden, while Sally and Max get some quality time at the mortuary.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
A hot club is apparently turning people into puddles of sludge. Bo’s on the case.
Shark Tale (Cinemax, 8:30 PM EST)
The sound you hear is Dreamworks animation touching bottom.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
I wonder if there’s a return policy on Voldemort’s wand. Why? No reason…
Girl vs. Monster (Disney XD, 7:30 PM EST)
Nice of Disney to keep things clear.
Live Free or Die Hard (FX, 8:00 PM EST)
The amiable fourth entry in the Die Hard franchise benefits (as these movies often do) from a strong performance by Timothy Olyphant. It repeats on Friday at 10:00 PM EST and Saturday at 8:00 PM EST.
Wrath of the Titans (HBO, 9:00 PM EST)
Sam Waterson vs. a giant lava monster. Woot.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
To quote a familiar source, it’s “mostly harmless.”


Face Off (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
In a shameless bit of cross-promotion, the competitors create designs from the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer. Director Bryan Singer serves as a guest judge.
The Chronicles of Riddick (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Vin Diesel kicks all kinds of ass in a retrofitted Warhammer 40K script that does much better than its maligned reputation suggests.
Sky High (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Disney’s live-action superhero riff still carries a lot of charm, thanks to stalwart pros like Bruce Campbell, Lynda Carter, Kurt Russell and a fair helping of the Kids in the Hall.
TRON: Legacy (FX, 6:30 PM EST)
Basic cable gets a shot of the Grid in the ambitious and rewarding sequel to the cult classic original. It repeats on Sunday night at 8:00 PM EST and 10:30 PM EST.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
Somebody thought that they were clever with this title. Very, very sad.
The Thing (HBO, 10:15 PM EST)
If you’re going to do a prequel, you can at least give it a new name so us poor old summary writers don’t get confused.
In addition, the State of the Union Address is tonight, which makes for a pretty quiet evening elsewhere.


Arrow (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
Oliver needs Felicity’s help after he takes a bullet. His fever dreams trigger a convenient flashback where he tries to escape the island.
Supernatural (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
The Gates of Hell are open and only the Winchesters can close them. Of course, it’s going to be a little harder than just following the road paved with good intentions…
The Others (Showtime, 6:30 PM EST)
Nicole Kidman nails a career high point as a mother in post-war Britain defending her children from ghosts on their estate.
The Woman in Black (Showtime, 8:20 PM EST)
Showtime wins the Double Feature of the Week award by pairing this magnificent Daniel Radcliffe chiller with The Others. It runs again on Friday at 10:00 PM EST.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
Arnold Schwarzenegger took a temporary leave of absence from the movies after this decent-but-not-great entry in the Terminator franchise.
How to Train Your Dragon (FMC, 7:00 PM EST and 9:00 PM EST)
Dreamworks scores one of its biggest hits in the clever and heartfelt tale of a Viking boy and the dragon he loves.
Red Riding Hood (HBO, 6:45 PM EST)
Amanda Syefried has awfully big eyes. Pity the movie can’t make use of them.
Battleship (HBO, 8:30 PM EST)
Why Liam, why?!
Columbiana (Starz, 7:05 PM EST)
Zoe Saldana plays the bad ass, but actually does little more than illustrate Hollywood’s appalling attitude towards women’s weight. For the love of God, let the girl eat something!
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Samurai swords and pussy wagons highlight the first half of Uma Thurman’s quest for revenge.
The Dark Knight (TNT, 6:45 PM EST)
Enjoy it folks. We won’t see its like from DC any time soon.


The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8:00 PM EST)
Leonard has a night of romance planned, which bombs when Penny’s ex shows up.
Elementary (CBS, 10:00 PM EST)
Holmes is called in when someone attacks Detective Bell and the guy everyone has it pinned on turns up dead.
Zero Hour (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
ABC unveils a new series about a conspiracy buff who gets drawn into an actual conspiracy. See the top of the article for more.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8:00 PM EST)
There’s something nobody knows about the cure. It apparently makes things really difficult for the gang.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW, 9:00 PM EST)
Cat and Vincent aren’t sure they can trust Alex, and tell her so. Let the backstabbing recriminations begin!
King of the Nerds (TBS, 10:00 PM EST)
The remaining seven competitors engage in various athletic activities. Not very nerdy, but what are you going to do?
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Part 2? Part 3? Oh who cares, let’s watch Milla kick ass!
WALL*E (Disney, 8:00 PM EST)
Damn he’s a cute little robot.
Batman (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
Tim Burton’s colossal blockbuster has things to recommend it, even though Christopher Nolan has since trumped it pretty demonstrably.
Batman and Robin (IFC, 10:45 PM EST)
Stop blaming yourself George Clooney. It wouldn’t have been any better with anyone else in the lead.
The Rock (Showtime, 7:30 PM EST)
The high point of Michael Bay’s work? I’m gonna say yes…
Finding Nemo (Starz, 7:30 PM EST)
Pixar may never regain this kind of luster, but oh my did they shine brightly for a while.
Pet Sematary (Sundance, 10:00 PM EST)
Steven King’s most disturbing novel becomes a damn creepy movie in its own right.
Sin City (Syfy, 6:30 PM EST)
This film just isn’t meant for basic cable.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
That Bill Nighy knows how to chew some scenery, doesn’t he?


Touch (Fox, 9:00 PM EST)
The hunt for the 36 Righteous Ones continues… even though said Righteous Ones are probably unaware of their righteousness. (Check your theology; it actually makes sense.)
Merlin (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Gwen and Morgana join forces in an attempt to kill Arthur. Yikes.
Catwoman (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
It’s escaped! Run for your lives! 
Gattaca (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
Science fiction doesn’t get any smarter than this one. Make sure you take a look if you haven’t already.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Comedy, 10:30 PM EST)
There’s nothing smart here, but it’s good goofy fun if you feel like turning your brain off for a while. It repeats on Saturday at 7:15 PM EST.
The A-Team (FX, 7:00 PM EST)
Better, Liam. Thank you.
Batman Returns (IFC, 7:15 PM EST)
So cable stations have pretty much abandoned any pretense to their core concepts, yes? I ask only because… um… independent film?
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (Starz, 6:40 PM EST)
Uma brings her vengeance home in the ripping conclusion to Quentin Tarantino’s epic.
Independence Day (Spike, 8:00 PM EST)
Remember when we thought the destruction of entire cities was kind of fun?
Spartacus: War of the Damned is apparently off this week. Pity, it makes great Valentine’s viewing…


Planet of the Apes Marathon (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
If you’re planning on staying up all night, AMC is running the first four Planet of the Apes movies, starting with the immortal 1968 original.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
The solid second entry in the Harry Potter series claims the entire evening on ABC.
Saw V (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Sure, let’s schedule this one early on Saturday, so the wee ones can stay up and watch!
The Collector (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This film isn’t interesting for its content – a vaguely watchable slasher film about a thief who runs afoul of a serial killer. But its director, Marcus Dunstan, earned his spurs as the winner of Season Three of Project Greenlight, which he’s parlayed into a viable film career.  
Journey to the Center of the Earth (ABC Family, 8:00 PM EST)
Next time, just film Brendan Fraser on an amusement park ride. It’s pretty much the same thing.
Beetlejuice (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EST)
Tim Burton at his purest. That’s a better thing here that it is in other films.
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (Cartoon, 7:00 PM EST)
Let the parade of unnecessary sequels begin!
In Time (Cinemax, 7:10 PM EST)
Though far from brilliant, it succeeds in developing its fascinating world where time literally is money.
Despicable Me (Disney, 8:00 PM EST)
Steve Carrel’s crotchety supervillain carries an otherwise indifferent children’s movie across the finish line. 
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (Showtime, 9:05 PM EST)
I’m sorry folks, I’m all out of bile for this one. Proceed with caution.
John Carter (Starz, 9:00 PM EST)
Its failure was disappointing, but I’m encouraged at how quickly people seem to be revising their opinion of it.


The Walking Dead (AMC, 9:00 PM EST)
The Governor gets a handle on things in Woodbury, while Merle and Daryl ponder the choices they’ve made. Also, zombies!
Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
Emma, Henry and Mr. Gold hunt for Bae in New York, while Hook and the Queen hunt for something belonging to Rumplestiltskin.
Cars (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EST and 9:30 PM EST)
This movie leads to so many bizarre questions about how its universe works. What are car politics like? How do they procreate? The mind boggles.
Apollo 13 (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EST)
Tom Hanks and the gang struggle to return to Earth in a riveting adaptation of the famous space rescue.
I, Robot (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EST)
Once again, Alan Tudyk steals the show.
Transporter 3 (IFC, 6:45 PM EST)
I love Jason Statham and yet so many of his films are like… this.
Van Helsing (Starz, 7:45 PM EST)
It’s a testament to Hugh Jackman’s talent that he emerges from this disaster more or less unscathed. 
The Fast and the Furious (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
And I say again… on Syfy? Really?
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Here’s hoping the sequel does a little better than this one.
Big Trouble in Little China (Sundance, 10:00 PM EST)
There is no week so bleak that a screening of this movie can’t make just a little bit better.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!