Joss Whedon's Marvel Universe TV Series Revealed: It's SHIELD

US TV network ABC has ordered a pilot for SHIELD , the Marvel universe spin-off TV series with Joss Whedon as showrunner, reports Deadline .

The show will be based on Marvel’s high-tech paramilitary peacekeeping force, whose initial stand for either Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division or Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate depending on what period of Marvel history you’re referencing.

The show will be made by Marvel Studios for ABC. Whedon will write the pilot alongside his brother, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, who has previously worked with Whedon on Dollhouse and Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog . All three will also executive produce alongside Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb. Whedon has not yet confirmed whether he will direct the pilot or not, but you’d hope so, wouldn’t you.

Whether or not any actors from the Marvel series will turn up in the show has not been revealed as yet. It would be a coup to have a cameo from Samuel L Jackson, but his fee would probably dwarf the entire budget for the pilot. You have to wonder, though, if Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill was always being thought of as a potential transfer material to the small screen?

Interestingly, ABC also has Guillermo Del Toro’s Hulk series in development. Surely any crossovers with that would be too confusing, though, with a different version of the Hulk in the small screen SHIELD series to the one appearing in the films.

So, what would you like to see from a small screen SHIELD series? And do you reckon Item 47 contains any clues?

UPDATE According to Variety, Whedon said at a Writers’ Guild meeting yesterday: “The storyline for the proposed series will be largely ‘autonomous’ from the Avengers sequel. The series will revolve around the activities of the SHIELD org governing body for the superheroes featured in Avengers .”

Watch a clip from Item 47