For their first series as showrunners, husband-wife scripting team Jed Whe- don and Maurissa Tancharoen certainly didn't aim low. The duo will steer ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which takes place within the same Marvel universe as "The Avengers" and brings along Hulk-sized fanboy anticipation.
"Fortunately, we have a big comicbook nerd in our family," Tancharoen says. "His name is Joss Whedon."
But lest the familiarity of Jed's last name raise an eyebrow, the pair have more than paid their dues. Alongside a series of self-generated Web series and novelty songs -- both are accomplished songwriters -- the pair cut their teeth as staff writers on cult series "Dollhouse," as well as scripting for "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" and Internet phenomenon "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog."
"S.H.I.E.L.D." will operate on a more human-sized scale than the theatrical blockbusters from which it sprung. "We like to think that all the movies have just been the Web series leading up to our television show," Tancharoen says with a laugh.
But Whedon adds: "We also have faith that if we're making things that we would want to see, other people will want to see it too, and hopefully they'll forgive us when we do a musical episode."
-- Andrew Barker