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ABC orders Marvel ‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ pilot

Project hails from 'Avengers' helmer Joss Whedon

The Marvel universe is poised to invade ABC next year as the Alphabet as ordered a pilot for a drama involving the S.H.I.E.L.D. org featured in the summer blockbuster “The Avengers.”

“Avengers” helmer Joss Whedon will co-write the pilot with his brother, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. If ordered to series, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen, alums of Joss Whedon’s Fox series “Dollhouse,” will serve as showrunner-exec producers with Jeffrey Bell. Marvel TV topper Jeph Loeb, who previously worked with Whedon on an animated “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” project that never got off the ground, will also exec produce.

Details of the order were first reported by Deadline.

Joss Whedon, who appeared Tuesday night at the Writers Guild Theater as moderator of a Q&A with “Sleepwalk with Me” filmmakers Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass, said the storyline for the proposed series will be largely “autonomous” from the “Avengers” sequel feature that is also in the works. The series will revolve around the activities of the top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D espionage org featured in “Avengers.”

“Avengers” has been a B.O. juggernaut since its late-spring release, racking up more than $1.5 billion worldwide to date. Getting Marvel characters on ABC’s air in primetime has been a priority for the Mouse ever since it acquired Marvel in 2009.

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