Joss Whedon's SHIELD gets a new title and ex-'Angel' star

There's little doubt that ABC will be picking up Joss Whedon's SHIELD television series for a full season order, and I suspect it'll get renewed before the first episode finishes airing. The network has it listed under its All Access "media planning and buying resource", which means there's a certain level of commitment. The listing also reveals the full title to be Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which sounds a little clunky but works in the brand name quite nicely.

Whedon will be directing and co-writing the pilot episode, and he's bringing one of his old Buffyverse alums to join the cast. J. August Richards, best known for playing Charles Gunn on Angel, has come aboard the show in a top secret mystery role. Let the speculation begin that he's playing Nick Fury Jr. or something. For those who think I'm making that up, well....I wish that were true.

A plot synopsis for the show has also been released which makes it sound as if the returning Agent Phil Coulson is leading his own team of X-Files agents...

Joss Whedon shows us not all heroes are super with "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

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.

Executive Produced and co-written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen ("Dollhouse," "Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog"), Jeffrey Bell ("Angel," "Alias") and Jeph Loeb ("Smallville," "Lost," "Heroes") comes Marvel’s first live-action TV series, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."