ABC picks up two more sci-fi/fantasy pilots

After the success of its Disneyesque Once Upon a Time this season, ABC is moving full speed ahead on the sci-fi/fantasy front.

The network just picked up the pilot for a show called Gotham. It’s an odd choice for a name considering the confusion it could create with Batman fans – the name Gotham wasn’t invented for Batman, but it’s what most people think of today – so I wouldn’t be surprised if the name changes before the show kicks off in the fall.

Gotham tells the story of a detective, who while chasing an ‘impossible’ case in New York City, stumbles upon a fantasy world hiding within Manhattan. What specific magical elements she’ll have to deal with, we don’t know yet, but I can imagine that it may be similar to Grimm: a cop who has to start seeing cases from the point of view of a person who knows the secrets of the world around her. The pilot was developed by Micheal Green, who also created the upcoming mid-season starter, The River.

The other is another big mystery show, but less fantasy, and more alternate history. Titled Zero Hour, and developed by Prison Break writer Paul Scheuring, the show follows a magazine editor who discovers a grand conspiracy arcing back through the whole of human history.

Again, we have few further details. This one could be about anything from aliens to Mayans to Illuminati. In fact, it sounds a little like the premise of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, which would make a pretty excellent TV series, especially if updated into a modern context. 

If both or either show makes it fully through development and production, we can expect to see them start in ABC’s 2012-13 television season.