It's the news that people have been expecting since it was announced that Joss Whedon would be working with Marvel TV to create a television series connected with this summer's uber-successful Avengers movie: Fellow Disney subsidiary ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D., a live-action series set in the heart of Nick Fury's spy organization.Deadline broke the news last night, noting that Joss Whedon will be co-writing the pilot for the show with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse collaborators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, with all three acting as executive producers on the show along with Jeffrey Bell (an Angel alum) and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb. Whedon is also said to be directing the pilot if his schedule allows.

Production on the pilot is said to be starting "immediately," suggesting that the project is being targeted as a Fall 2013 debut, should the pilot make the cut at ABC next spring. No casting has been announced for the show, although the Marvel Oneshot movies leave a number of possibilities open, including Titus Welliver's Agent Blake, Maximiliano Hernandez' Jasper Sitwell or even Lizzy Caplan's Claire from the soon-to-be-released Item 47 accompaniment to The Avengers. Additionally, it's been rumored that CBS' How I Met Your Mother may be heading towards a conclusion with this year's eighth season, potentially making Cobie Smulders - The Avengers' Agent Maria Hill - available to be the lead in the series.

Who would you want to see in a S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot? And which Marvel mainstays should appear as guest-stars or supervillains if the show goes to series? Use the comments below to tell all.

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