Come on, network TV. You’ve got to be smarter than “Zero Hour” if you want to hold your own against the cable revolution and the Internet-TV power move that has begun in earnest with Netflix’s “House of Cards.” ABC’s “Zero Hour” is a conspiracy drama that makes you wonder if network programmers are running their own conspiracy — to lose viewers in a “Producers”-like act of self-sabotage. This new ABC action-suspense series is really weak. The acting is half-hearted, the characters are paper thin, and the dialogue and plot development are embarrassing. It’s as sophisticated as “Jonny Quest.”
“Zero Hour” takes over the “Last Resort” timeslot, Thursday night at 8 on Channel 5, which is an important launching pad for ABC’s lineup. But I can’t imagine it giving the night much of a jump start. The show, created by Paul T. Scheuring of “Prison Break,” is a watered-down “Da Vinci Code”/“National Treasure” story that throws the following contents into a giant blender: a bunch of Nazis, the threat of the apocalypse, a treasure map, cloning, and a secret language used only by a hidden wing of the church.