It's never good when a show's title appears to predict its ratings. Anthony Edwards ("ER") stars in the head-scratcher "Zero Hour" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14). 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 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 of 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 "Last Resort," and it took place on a lush, tropical island. The first place we venture on "Zero Hour" is the Arctic Circle.
---AMC takes a stab at the elusive male audience with the return of director Kevin Smith's "Comic Book Men" (9 p.m., TV-PG). "Freakshow" (9:30 p.m., TV-14), about the proprietor of a boardwalk attraction, and "Immortalized" (10 p.m., TV-PG), about the world of taxidermy, follow.
---Speaking of that elusive male audience, NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines have announced they will rebrand the G4 Network as the Esquire Network, beginning in April. I'm holding out for the Popular Mechanics Network.
---Tia Carrere hosts "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (9 p.m., ID, TV-14). Catch it between repeats of "Scorned" (8 p.m., TV-14) and "Frenemies" (10 p.m., TV-14). Happy Valentine's Day!
---A sicko covers his tracks online on "Law & Order: Spe cial Victims Unit" (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14). The network's "Do No Harm," which debuted in this time slot, was the least watched new network drama in the history of network dramas and was canceled after only two episodes.
---Pierce gets stuck on "Com munity" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---The top 40 emerge on "American Idol" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---A black-tie fundraiser on "Parks and Recreation" (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---An assault on a maid yields many suspects on "Person of In terest" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Pam interviews for a new job on "The Office" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---Will and Emma's big day on "Glee" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Red ink looms on "Grey's Anatomy" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---A florist shop and hardware store offer inspiration on "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG).
---Charlie prescribes a placebo on "Anger Management" (9:30 p.m., FX, TV-14).
---Joan studies self-defense on "Elementary" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Olivia meets a handsome stranger on "Scandal" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London and Jason Lee star in Kevin Smith's 1995 comedy "Mallrats" (9 p.m., TMC Extra).
---Single guys on "The Big Bang Theory" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---The hunter arrives on "The Vampire Diaries" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Walden mopes on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Romance blooms on "Beauty and the Beast" (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
---Susan Rice is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stew art" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Phil McGraw, Julianne Hough and the Vaccines appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Julianne Hough, Jeff Wild, Heather McDonald and Nico Santos are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Gavin Newsom sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Grohl and the Sound City Players with Stevie Nicks appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Jarod Miller, Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Rachel Weisz and Josh Groban appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---Bruce Willis, Molly Shannon and Trinidad James visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts George Lopez and Sutton Foster on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.