One of the strongest contenders for a hit fall series is Disney's "Avengers" spinoff series about S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's human intergalactic police force.
Fans were buzzing over the weekend when they found a rumored new title and plot for the upcoming show on an advertising site for ABC, revealing the series may be called "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
While, Entertainment Weekly reports the title isn't official, it seems to be what producers and Marvel are referring to the series as for now.
Here's the plot:
"Fresh from his role in the summer’s box office smash, Marvel's The Avengers, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to the worldwide law enforcement organization S.H.I.E.L.D. He puts together a small, highly trained, team of Agents to tackle the cases that haven’t been classified yet, the new, the strange and the unknown. That team consists of straight arrow Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), an expert in combat and espionage; pilot and martial artist Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); and brilliant if socially awkward scientists Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). They’ll be joined by civilian new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
Prepare for an epic adventure that showcases the hope and wonder of the human spirit. This is a world of Super Heroes, aliens and the unusual – of action, spectacle and world spanning stories. The show will speak to the human condition through the lens of our very human, non-powered S.H.I.E.L.D agents – that together we are greater than we are apart, and that we can make a difference in the world."
Disney really knows what it's doing with the Marvel property.
It wisely built up the franchise by producing interest in individual character films – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor – before tackling a group film in "The Avengers."
The result, was box-office gold.
With the sequel not out until 2015, it makes sense ABC greenlit a pilot for the series last August for fans eagerly awaiting the next film.
Plus, over the next two years Disney and Marvel are working on the next set of "Avengers" films titled "Phase 2," which includes "Iron Man 3,""Captain America: The Winter Soldier,""Thor: The Dark World,""Ant-Man," and "Guardians of the Galaxy."
The series will take place following the events of last year's movie, focusing on the agents led by Agent Phil Coulsen (Clark Gregg) who appeared in the film. (Remember, Coulsen died in the movie, a plot point Gregg told EW will be explained in the series.)
If done correctly, the series has a lot of potential.
So far, it appears to be going in the right direction.
Joss Whedon, who directed "The Avengers" and consulted on "Captain America: The First Avenger" is attached to co-write the pilot for the series and may direct as well.
Disney and Marvel could tie in actors from the series to films and vice versa in small cameos not only for extra draw and viewer appeal, but also to make a direct connection between the series and films.
It wouldn't be difficult given Whedon worked on "The Avengers." The drawback is that a Robert Downey Jr. cameo wouldn't come cheap (but think of the ratings!).
The one thing we can't get over is this long, unofficial title for the series, which seems slightly packed especially for social media and sharing purposes online.
We wouldn't be surprised to see the title cut down to "S.H.I.E.L.D." (By the way, in case you're wondering, the acronym stands for "Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.")
Last May, TIME asked whether a superhero series could survive on television.
However, there has been success (mostly with Superman).
For a decade, "Smallville," following a teenage man of steel, dominated the CW.
Most recently, the CW renewed "Arrow," based on DC superhero Green Arrow, for a third season.
And, 20 years ago, ABC had a hit superhero series of its own in "Lois & Clark – The New Adventures of Superman." The show lived for four seasons on the network with no ties to any film series.
Since "S.H.I.E.L.D." revolves around a franchise, and a very successful one at that, it's difficult to see it do anything but thrive.
Otherwise, it would be a hard flop for Disney.