News Article

News Article

'Zero Hour' Canned; Plus is Friday Really the End of 'Cult'?


zero hourIn news that certainly comes as a surprise to no one, ABC has canned Zero Hour after just three episodes. The network will replace it with a string of various reality programming. With premiere ratings barely hitting 6.5 million - and only going down from there - coupled with an uneven premise, poor reviews, and a nonexistent advertising plan, it was doomed to fail. Zero Hour joins 666 Park Avenue in the "genre programming failure" at ABC this season. There are a handful of remaining episodes of Zero Hour that, like 666 Park Avenue, will probably air in the summer. Maybe as a failed-genre block. 

While we are on the subject of failing genre television, let's talk Cult for a minute. Last week we reported that CW's show-within-a-show Cult was being moved from Tuesday nights to Friday nights. True, Cult's ratings have been dismal (averaging less than one million viewers per episode, which is low even by CW's standards. So yes, there is a good chance that Cult is not long for this world. However, the move to Friday is not meant as a way to let Cult live out its contractual obligation in the least disruptive way; it is a hail mary pass.

CW is well known for their schedule pairings. Currently, Monday is the "teen drama" block of 90210 and The Carrie Diaries; Wednesday is the male-skewing action block of Arrow and Supernatural; Thursday is "dark fantasy romance" with The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast. But Tuesdays have been a problem, pairing the female-oriented Hart of Dixie with the dark, weird Cult. It's tough to build an audience with two such disparate properties. But CW is clearly trying to pair Cult with something that has similar demographics: Nikita. Granted, Nikita isn't a huge ratings grabber (its success stems largely from huge international sales) but it certainly has a more similar fanbase.

So don't give up on Cult yet - but don't hold your breath for another season.