Does 'Zero Hour' Even Have a Chance in ABC's Thursday 'Death Slot'? (Poll)

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

December 5th, 2012

Several commenters have pointed out that ABC's 8PM slot on Thursdays seems to be a "death slot" of sorts, as no shows in that timeslot have gone on to a second season since 2009. Military drama Last Resort was the latest victim of this scheduling curse, and it looks like supernatural drama Zero Hour could be the Thursday death slot's next casualty. What do you think? Does this drama have a chance, or is it doomed to fail before it even airs its first episode?



  • Uofmguy423

    It will die. Serves them right for screwing around with Ugly Betty and then cancelling it after it performed well in that slot.

  • Ben

    Quality shows have a good chance no matter what day of the week they are on (with the probable execption of Saturday night), and no matter what hour they are on from 8 to 11 PM. A terrible program has a miminal chance unless the network has nothing else to offer.

    There have countless examples where a program was dominating a time slot, and another show debuted opposite it. The new program was good enough to get viewers, while the older show maintained it’s fan base.

    If Zero Hour fails, it will probably be because it was not good enough to attract enough viewers, not because of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, X Factor, 30 Rock, Up All Night, or The Vampire Diaries. Or whatever else is on another channel, such as PBS.

    Isn’t “It was in a lousy time slot opposite a ratings powerhouse” one of the squares in Fan Excuse Bingo?

  • Ike

    @vabeach: Move DWTS to Thursdays? Are you on crack? This is a site about ratings. Are you not noticing that, um, DWTS is declining sharply in adults 18-49 lately? That’s what advertisers want, especially on Thursdays. Also, ABC airs that show two nights in a row. Which other night will it go? Fridays? Fridays have lower viewership on average — you risk getting imbalancing DWTS’s viewership across its two nights wildly. And their Wed. lineup is too successful from 8-10 to mess with.

    @Uofmguy423: Ugly Betty got cancelled because its ratings went off a cliff. By the end, the numbers were appalling. The show must have been bleeding millions. I’m surprised they didn’t cancel it sooner. ABC is a business not a charity.

  • Sarah

    I agree with whoever said to move Castle to the slot. I don’t watch it, but I’m pretty sure it’s audience would follow it anywhere. It seems to have a very devoted following.

  • HalCapone

    I thought Missing and Last Resort were both great shows (very different from other television fare and well-executed); Charlies Angels, not so much. Zero Hour looks interesting and different but will probably not appeal to the masses, either. It’s always a huge uphill struggle to debut a new series against a ratings powerhouse like Big Bang Theory (which has become moldy and tiresome, IMHO). I give ABC credit for trying alternative high quality adult drama programming against the nerdy post-adolescent comedy but these dramas have seemed a bit out of place in the 8pm hour. As Holly pointed out the other day, one can’t expect a network to give up with a test pattern or put any filler in that slot. This is a business and a highly competitive one. At some point, something will click–maybe it will take the inevitable decline in Big Bang interest/ratings but something will work for ABC inevitably. If I were in charge of ABC programming, I would try either a new family comedy duo (to counter the raunchier, less family friendly Big Bang and Two & One Half Men–something like The Middle, for instance)in that hour or a quality teen drama like the former My So-Called Life.

  • bigbrotherfan

    Totally off the wall question here-

    Before my time but caught the show on netflix and what an AMAZING SHOW THIS WAS!

    TWIN PEAKS- Did this show fall victim to the Thursday night curse, as well? and do you think today with all the save this show campaigns if it was on today would it of been saved?

  • Ted Craig

    There is no such thing as a death slot. ABC just made some bad decisions due to a mistaken belief that it can replicate the success of Lost. Many of these shows (Missing, FlashForward, Last Resort) were good ideas for movies. They never were going to work in this medium. This series seems like a repeat of that mistake. Other shows, like My Generation and Charlie’s Angels, were just bad. A good show could finish at least second on a regular basis, maybe even topping TBBT when it is a rerun.

    There are no bad time slots. Just bad TV shows.

  • glen

    I don’t think Zero Hour will make it. Maybe because it’s not unique enough from other shows that have aired and died in that timeslot. I can see why ABC wouldn’t air comedies since CBS rules in the timeslot and is killing the NBC sitcoms. Perhaps they should air a more lighthearted show. If it has to be a drama maybe a comedy drama along the lines of Moonlighting or Hart to Hart? Either that or back to reality programming. Or, maybe it’s time to bring back a variety or family show? Something that won’t necessarily be a smash hit but at least do the network 18-49 average.

  • The Log Lady


    Twin Peaks aired at 9pm on Thursdays during its first season (except the 2 hour premiere which aired on a Sunday). It moved to Saturdays at 10pm for the second season. Not solving the murder of Laura Palmer at the end of season 1 angered a lot of viewers. The silly storyline in the second season likely did it in.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Nick: “Networks don’t really care about whether or not they beat the competition. Shows like Castle and Parenthood would have been cancelled long ago if that was important.”

    Excuse me, but networks do indeed care. Granted, ad revenue comes first. But they do care if more people watch their shows than the competition’s because that means more ad revenue.

    They may not care if a SPECIFIC show beats its competition, and they may have to admit that they can’t win every night because they don’t control how other networks schedule their shows, but in general they do care. Otherwise you wouldn’t see all these PR releases touting how their show won the night.

    That should be obvious.

  • cass rowland

    does anyone thing that thursday at 8 should be back to its affilates

  • Ruan

    I really wanted to watch that one, everything about it sounds interesting and attracting, but I don’t want to get disappointed when it gets cancelled, which it definitely will. I won’t even bother to watch it.

    My God, saying that there is no such thing as a death slot is just wrong.

  • Ted Craig

    No, Ruan, just realistic.

  • CK

    Ike – Ugly Betty’s third season averaged at 2.8 in the 18-49 demo. The show only started bleeding viewers when it was moved to Friday nights for its fourth season. It was huge mistake on ABC’s part since the FlashForward only managed to better Ugly Betty’s ratings for about five episodes before it began to sink.

    According to one of the cast members, the show was moved to a Friday graveyard slot because an ABC executive didn’t like the show’s positive portrayal of homosexuality. Whatever the reason was, the fact is that nothing has been able to match Ugly Betty’s consistent ratings and even if Ugly Betty’s average dropped five tenths, it would have done better than any of the shows that succeeded it.

  • Nick

    @Richard Steven Hack

    Apprently, you and I interpret PR releases differently.
    IMO, they’re just a load of cr*p and don’t count as proof that the networks care about something.

  • Ginger

    ABC should be airing a procedural show here because CBS isn’t airing a crime show here. Castle seems like an excellent choice. 1) Castle has a fan base and 2) it’s already been sold into syndication. Bones was able to have an audience here when FOX aired it. Use the Monday night after Dancing with the Stars time slot for a show that needs a push. Maybe Mistresses or a relocated Nashville?

  • boc2msg

    This show will die just like Last Resort, which I love. What a shame.

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