It’s never good when a show’s title appears to predict its ratings. Anthony Edwards (“ER”) stars in the head-scratcher “Zero Hour” (7 p.m., ABC). He’s Hank Galliston, a Brooklyn debunker and editor of Modern Skeptic, a monthly magazine dedicated to combating dumb myths and legends lapped up by a gullible public.
He has his work cut out for him after his pretty wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is snatched from her seemingly unprofitable antique watch shop and held hostage by a German-accented bad guy (Michael Nyqvist).
Soon the fetching FBI agent Rebecca Riley (Carmen Ejogo) is on the scene, and we learn that the kidnapper is none other than the World’s Most Wanted Man. And in a flashback shown before the credits, we see a shadowy organization hiding secrets from evil Nazis — secrets so powerful they could bring about the End of the World.
Yes, we’re in “The Da Vinci Code” territory here, with a little “Raiders of the Lost Ark” thrown in for good measure. The shadowy organization at the center of the mystery is not Dan Brown’s murky Masons, but the Rosicrucians, a group so powerful and in touch with ancient truths that it used to take out ads in the back pages of Popular Mechanics.
If this weren’t dumb enough, Hank is assisted by two Jimmy Olsen types — magazine staffers Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster), who scour the globe spouting barely credible dialogue.
Like the recently departed “Last Resort,” ‘‘Zero Hour” is a dark, paranoid thriller with a somewhat meaningless title. Audiences did not warm to “Resort,” and it took place on a lush, tropical island. The first place we venture on “Zero Hour” is the Arctic Circle.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Pierce gets stuck on “Community” (7 p.m., NBC).
• The top 40 emerge on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).
• A black-tie fundraiser on “Parks and Recreation” (7:30 p.m., NBC).
• An assault on a maid yields many suspects on “Person of Interest” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Pam interviews for a new job on “The Office” (8 p.m., NBC).
• Will and Emma’s big day arrives on “Glee” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Red ink looms on “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p.m., ABC).
• Charlie prescribes a placebo on “Anger Management” (8:30 p.m., FX).
— Copyright 2012 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.