'Zero Hour' Canceled, Critics Not Surprised After Terrible Ratings

"Zero Hour" was canceled after only three episodes and a mediocre season premiere. The plot, casting and ratings have all been pointed to as culprits for the show's demise.

"Zero Hour," the Da Vinci Code-like drama about a man trying to save his kidnapped wife from a historical conspiracy, did not last long. The show, which starred "ER" actor Anthony Edwards, debuted to just 6.3 million viewers- that's the lowest premiere for any scripted ABC in history. After two more episodes of declining ratings ending at 5 million Feb. 28, the network pulled the show.

ABC decided to fill the slot with old episodes of "Shark Tank" for the next two weeks, then air "Wife Swap" March 21 and "Wipeout" May 9. There is the possibility that the remaining episodes of "Zero Hour" could be aired in the summer, though nothing has yet been announced.

The reason for the cancellation could have been the show's timeslot: "Zero Hour" was broadcast on Thursdays at 8 p.m., which was the same time slot as "The Big Bang Theory" reruns and "American Idol." Some viewers felt that the competition was too stiff during primetime for the show to last.

"This show might have rated better in a 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm slot!" Pattirn wrote on The Vulture's blog.

The plot seemed to hold some viewers, who did not expect the show's cancellation.

"This was a great show with an amazing amount of history (whether it was actual or not)," Dowlingangie wrote on THR. "The acting was great, the story line was amazing and yes you didn't want it to end after the hour because you wanted more."

Although the show's fans agreed, critics were far more unkind.

"I'm pretty sure there's nothing that Zero Hour could have done to make me like it more. Or like it. Even a little," Matt Zoller Seitz, a critic for The Vulture, wrote.

"The creator has said he'll tell a single story in 13 episodes (we've heard that one before), with a separate mystery unfolding for the second season, if there is one," The Star-Ledger's critic Vicki Hyman wrote. "Based on the pilot, I doubt they'll make it to lunch."