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January 10 2013

ABC boss weighs in on Joss' S.H.I.E.L.D. mission. ABC President Paul Lee really likes the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot script and revealed the show has been fast-tracked and thus will be ready for review "a lot earlier than others".

So it's called 'Marvel's SHIELD' now? Btw Crave Online has more coverage so I swapped links over - the original link can be found here.
Cool, thanks Simon.
They're really in to it, I wonder what time slot it will get.
Things I learned today: the man who greenlit Work It went to the same British high school as Joss. Weird world.

EDIT: As reported by Hollywood Reporter, anyway.

[ edited by Jobo on 2013-01-10 21:10 ]
According to Alan Sepinwall who has more coverage on this story Paul Lee and Joss Whedon went to the same boarding school in England
Hollywood Reporter has a line about the pilot shooting in March. May be a mistake.
The problem is even if they give it a good timeslot, that's no guarantee of success.
Do you think this could get big debut numbers if they promote it as "From the director of The Avengers"
I wonder what joss's character's name is going to be since - at least going by Crave Online - he's apparently in it in addition to everything else. *


* I'm assuming that this is just a case of lack of clarity on Paul Lee's/some transcriber's part, but wouldn't it be fun if it isn't?
Thanks a lot brinderwalt, a quick glance at the screen and all I saw was purple! Boo!!! ;)
Well, that sounds mightily positive. Not that he'd talk the show down, of course; but it looks like there is a very good chance of it going to series. Which would be nice.

I'm fond of a few ABC shows; but they're all rather comfortable. I hope this programme gets room to be Whedony.
The best evil is the evil which was earned from the long game. #jennycalendar
BuffyFirefly, I expect that if (when) S.H.I.E.L.D. gets a premier date set ABC will be promoting it as Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D., written and directed by the maker of 'Avengers', because they are not stupid. I do think this has the makings for a big family favorite, and I've always believed that ABC would do their best to give it a good time slot and lots of promotion (their over-lords, Disney Corp, would expect no less!). This article just confirms that it is being fast-tracked, which is all good IMO.

I am VERY excited about this, I think it gives Joss a chance to create new characters and explore all kinds of ideas he had for Firefly and/or Dollhouse.
we’re certainly investing to the levels of ‘Once Upon a Time’ and that’s an ambitious show
That's troubling, because many of the visuals on Once, most especially the use of virtual sets, are terrible. So, I hope the investment is being used to better effect.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2013-01-10 22:07 ]
I think it is safe to assume (if this goes to series) that the full might of ABC marketing will be behind it and it will get the best possible time slot. Also, fears that the Whedons' vision will be messed with seem alarmist, unfounded and unnecessary at this point.

All signs, so far, from every corner seem positive. Let's stick with that until there is even the slightest hint of something negative. Then (those that are prone to it) you can picnic.
Sounds like the only thing that needs to happen is for them to release a statement that they're picking it up. Sounds like the decision has been made, barring some kind of catastrophe.
Mitholas, the pilot hasn't been shot yet. They'll wait to make sure it works on screen first.
ABC has to date handled Once beautifully. I think if it gets a good slot, it will be fine.

I hope that it gets an 8pm time slot but not up against TBBT.

And please, can only the man himself use purple?

I nearly fainted.
This is filled with great news. For one, Lee describes it as "a show that is not exactly about The Avengers but is attached to it" and talks about the "synergies" of the movies and tv series. I hope this means that it will be very well-grounded in Marvel's superhero mythology, as opposed to being merely an action/scifi series about a secret paramilitary organization. More great news: Lee seems to be very committed, and to like the script a lot. Still more great news: Joss is writing other episodes, not just the pilot.

Seems like this is shaping up to be the kind of show that I hope for and dream about.
@gossi since they already have the full cast I am thinking they should start shooting the pilot soon, right?

@The One True b!X The visuals were even worse at the beginning then they changed affects houses. Since Joss got ILM and Weta Workshop for The Avengers I am hoping he can at least get Zoic for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Joss is writing other episodes, not just the pilot.


That's par for the course generally. Every once and a while he'll have a season where he only contributes a single episode, but generally he has a tendency to write more than one.

I'd be curious how much writing he would actually do as far as teleplays are concerned ahead of filming the pilot though. Unless he's already had a few read throughs with the cast in which case he would have fixed the major problem which would be figuring out what their rhythms of speech are. I do wonder if he's actually writing stories and it's coming to us through the telephone as scripts.
Disney owns ILM. Do they have a tv division?
Every once and a while he'll have a season where he only contributes a single episode, but generally he has a tendency to write more than one.

Yeah, although until now it was unclear (to me) if this would actually be a Joss series, or just something he directed the pilot for (like how Reaper was not, in any sense, a Kevin Smith TV show).
One thing that intrigues me is how hard they're hitting on the idea that this is a sci-fi show they're hoping will appeal to a female demographic as well. Also that weird focus on "male-female relationships" as opposed to maybe any particular dynamics between members of the same gender.

I mean on one hand I think it's good they're actively trying to reach out and make it a welcoming program, considering how so much Avengers merchandise marginalizes the sole lead female or she doesn't even appear on T-shirts geared towards young boy. That said, I'm a little concerned by any possibility the show is going to heavily push will-they-won't-they romantic dynamics and mostly between straight crew members.

That said, I generally do trust Jed and Mo's sensibilities.
Consider my anticipation level upgraded. It's great to hear an exec talking so highly of a Joss Whedon show!
I'm sure Paul Lee meant every word. I bet the Whedon clan did a great job on the pilot script, and so far the cast is -- there's no other word for it -- awesome.

You should know, however, that earlier the Twitter TV critics were laughing at him for talking just as enthusiastically about shows that had already been ruthlessly panned. ;)
I think romantic dynamics will be very important, especially in a show by Joss, who does that stuff so well (along with lots of other stuff). This is one reason why Buffy was so successful, and I think it would be a mistake not to have it as a major element in a show like this.
A Joss show without a heavy emphasis on romance is like southern tea without sugar. It might be ok to drink but it wouldn't be very satisfying.

Angel is the only Joss show I can think of that was light on romance(pre season 3, Doyle/Cordelia, notwithstanding).

[ edited by eddy on 2013-01-11 03:55 ]
Disney owns ILM. Do they have a tv division?

ILM is strictly for movies. For one, they're expensive. And another, they have a lot on their plate to work on with turning over numerous CGI shots to different movies at the same time.

I think ILM should have its own in-house division for TV shows. SHIELD could use that flawless ILM sheen.
It sounds like ABC is treating Whedon better than Fox did. They hopefully won't schedule SHIELD on Friday.

[ edited by BuffyFirefly on 2013-01-11 06:43 ]
This sounds like a huge priority for them. I doubt it will be on Friday.
If you figure ABC won't want to air SHIELD in a 10 pm slot because the show has a high potential for family viewing, I think Sunday nights after ONCE UPON A TIME makes the most sense. Monday is their reality TV night with DANCING WITH THE STARS and THE BACHELOR rotating throughout the year. Tuesday and Wednesday are both comedy nights, so the only drama slots are at 10. They launched their most buzzed about drama pilot this year, LAST RESORT, on Thursday at 8 pm and it got destroyed, so I don't think they'll do that again (and I don't think they'll move GREY'S ANATOMY out of the 9 pm slot). And they certainly won't air a high profile new show on Friday... or Saturday. So that leaves Sunday at 9. ONCE will provide a huge lead-in and has a similar audience to the one SHIELD will be trying to attract.
With JJ Abrams attaching Bad Robot to all the projects he's involved, I wonder if we'll get to see the return of the Grr Argh monster.

Kinda sad that there was no Grr Arghh Monster tag attached to Cabin in the Woods.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2013-01-11 10:29 ]
Lucas used the Indiana Jones TV series as a test sandbox for stuff in ILM, so they have done TV stuff before.
For all intents and purposes, Fox was making the exact same noises at this point in the process on Dollhouse. Doesn't mean the show is going to end up the same, but I won't let myself get excited about any of the yammer until ABC sees the pilot and has to make actual decisions that promote SHIELD at the expense of other shows. Time slot. Ads. If I'm guarded, it's because I've been hurt before. Many, many times...

One thing SHIELD has going for it is that it's not about sex trafficking. This really shouldn't be nearly as hard a sell as the idea for Dollhouse. Not even in the same ballpark given the success of Avengers. One thing SHIELD has going against it though is that it's not about sex trafficking. (That may have come out wrong...) Avengers was a fun movie. I liked it. But it was hardly a challenging or deep movie. I think Joss has a little bit of line to walk here - taking SHIELD to the kinds of interesting and intelligent places he's gone in the past on TV without losing what made the movie successful on a wider scale... which was mostly virtually indestructible superheroes crashing into each other.
That said, I'm a little concerned by any possibility the show is going to heavily push will-they-won't-they romantic dynamics and mostly between straight crew members.

I wouldn't worry too much. After all - if there's one thing Whedon deserves credit for (imo probably even above the whole "strong" female characters thing) I would say that it's his knack for building realistic inter-character relationships (especially between differently gendered characters) that aren't built solely on sex/romance.
WindTheFrog ; The problem with sunday 9PM is that I beleive _Revenge_ is a a strongly rated show, so they might not want to "Tampa" with it.
BringitOn5x5: "One thing SHIELD has going for it is that it's not about sex trafficking... One thing SHIELD has going against it though is that it's not about sex trafficking."

I could totally see a scene in one of the episodes:
"SHIELD may involve spying, but we are better than tawdry photos of cheating spouses having affairs, or making videos of celebrity clothes mishaps... What is today's mission?"
"Sex trafficking."

* Might be a bit tough to make it into whole-family viewing, but you get the idea.

[ edited by OneTeV on 2013-01-11 18:15 ]
If SHIELD is put to Sundays, it'll pair with Jane Espenson's show, which is cool!

I really think it will be Thursday at 8. Revenge isn't a highly rated show and it can be pushed to 10 if necessary but it won't fit the OUAT-SHIELD line-up and it'd be a risky move for the ABC moderate-hit. Besides I don't think they'll pair OUAT with another fantasy show but instead try to repeat its night-leading success on another night, like Thursday. Plus, it would be against another geek-favorite Big Bang Theory and would be an interesting battle to see.

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