'Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.': ABC 'very hopeful' the pilot will be picked up

joss-whedon-aug-2012-gi.jpgABC hasn't made a decision on whether Joss Whedon's "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot will go to series in the fall. But, come on.

"We haven't yet seen the pilot. We fast-tracked that one before the others; we'll get to see it a lot earlier than the others," ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee said Thursday (Jan. 10) at the TCA winter press tour. "We're very hopeful that's going to go forward to series. We'll build our marketing campaign early for it. ... By the way, the script's great. I don't want to jinx it ... but I'm very excited about it."

Whedon is writing and directing "S.H.I.E.L.D." (or "Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.," its official title), and Lee says he's "passionate" about the show and will keep his hands in if it's picked up.

"He's very engaged with the series if we go to series. He's already working on scripts," Lee says. "We shot it in Los Angeles to make sure he's free to work across his feature life and television life. But I love to see Joss, who of course has made many great television shows in his day, enjoying television as much as movies."

Lee declines to divulge any story details about the pilot, although he does say its tone is "very Joss," with Whedon's signature mix of action, humor and emotion. He also thinks it could be a show capable of bringing in both male and female viewers, as well as a family audience.

If, that is, he can make a superhero show go on broadcast TV. The CW (and before it, The WB) has had some success with comic-book heroes in the recent past, but you'd have to go back to the Adam West "Batman" to find a bona fide hit in the genre.

"I think you would have said exactly the same thing about fairy tales," Lee says. "I think it's our job to create a television series that delivers every week, to make it fit on ABC and to market it well. We've done that with fairy tales -- let's see if we can do it with superheroes."
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