January 31, 2012 4:56pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC Adds Drama Pilots From Marc Cherry, 'Twilight,' 'Heroes' and 'Prison Break' Scribes
Hours after the CW added drama projects from J.J. Abrams and other high-profile scribes, ABC has issued pilot orders to hourlongs from Desperate Housewives' Marc Cherry and the writers behind Twilight, Heroes and Prison Break.
The first, Gotham, revolves around a female cop who discovers a magical world that exists within New York City that is unseen by normal humans and reinvents popular landmarks in a magical otherworldly manner.
Heroes writer/co-EP Michael Green will write and executive produce the 20th Television drama that is similar in tone to NBC's magical procedural 17th Precinct last year. Erwin Stoff will also exec produce.
For its part, Zero Hour hails from Prison Break's Paul Scheuring that revolves around a bizarre twist of fate that pulls a man who's spent 20 years as the editor of a skeptics magazine into one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history.
Scheuring will write and exec produce the ABC Studios drama alongside Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Dan McDermott.
Desperate Housewives' showrunner Cherry, meanwhile, will write and executive produce Devious Maids, a soapy drama based on the Mexican format that follows four maids with ambition and dreams of their own working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
From ABC Studios, Sabrina Wind will also executive produce. The project marks Cherry's second pilot in as many years; ABC passed on his musically tinged Hallelujah last year, and opted to redevelop it this season.
Finally, Penoza hails from Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg and centers on the widow of an assassinated criminal forced to adopt her husband's role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Based on a Dutch format, ABC Studios will exec produce alongside Endemol Studios, Alon Aranya and Howard Klein.
The quartet join other high-profile drama pilots at the net including 666 Park Ave., Beauty and the Beast, Americana, Shawn Ryan's Last Resort, Roland Emmerich's untitled election drama and Shonda Rhimes' Gilded Lillys. To date, ABC drama pilot orders now stand at 12.