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ABC 'Hopeful' that Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. Will Get Series Pick-Up

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Related: Joss Whedon, THE AVENGERS

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC's Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has some serious confidence in Joss Whedon's AVENGERS-spinoff series S.H.I.E.L.D.

"We fast-tracked that and we'll see it a lot earlier than the others," Lee said at the TCA winter press tour today. "We're very hopeful that's going to go to series...It's a great script."

S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, a covert, quasi-military peace-keeping organization which was featured in this summer's AVENGERS movie, and is a long-time staple of the Marvel universe.

The ensemble pilot stars Ming-Na (ER), Clark Gregg (THE AVENGERS), Brett Dalton (KILLING LINCOLN), Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Caestecker, and Chloe Bennet (NASHVILLE.)

Lee proclaimed that the pilot would not only appeal to men and women, but families as well, much like Whedon's THE AVENGERS.

"Marvel has the ability to bring the whole family around it," Lee continued. "Joss has great relationships around it. There's a lot of real funny male-female relationships and flirtations but it's also Joss and Marvel, so there's a lot of action to it."

The tone of the show, Lee believes, also lends itself to broadening audiences.

"You know how Joss is so high, low? He's able to be intense and Epic and suddenly funny and silly? He's got that ability to be super entertaining and yet super educated."

The project was written by Whedon, creator of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, FIREFLY, ANGEL, and more, his bother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and is based on a collection of Marvel comic books. There have been no details as to which Marvel characters will be featured in the TV version. On the big screen, the organization included overseer Nick Fury, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Tony Stark and Thor.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is expected to premiere in Fall 2013.

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