(Photo: Getty Images For Sundance Film Festival, Nicholas Hunt)

According to TV Line, ABC has just ordered a pair of pilots that should scratch a very specific itch for people who wish TV had more shows about government-backed engineers solving mysteries and completing secret missions. The first show is an “action-dramedy” called Unit Zero, and it comes from Trophy Wife writer Lindsey Shockley. The pilot stars Toni Collette as an “unassuming CIA engineer/single mom” who makes a team of “desk jockeys” into covert field agents. Apparently, the fact that nobody cares about them at the CIA office makes them perfect for secret missions, which is relatively sound logic.

The second pilot is Salamander, and it’s based on a Belgian show about “a brilliant but misanthropic engineer” who works with a Homeland Security agent to find a bank robber who stole 66 safety deposit boxes that belong to various rich and powerful people. Naturally, these 66 boxes are all tied together in some kind of grand conspiracy, giving this show an easy narrative hook and case-of-the-week structure.


Hopefully the two shows will do a crossover if they both make it to series, since you have to assume that these engineers probably go to some of the same parties.