It appears that Marvel's all-encompassing movie universe centered around The Avengers is about to expand to the realm of the small screen. Not only that, but it seems that it will involve the film's director, Joss Whedon.
According to Deadline, ABC has greenlit a pilot for a live-action TV series centered on Nick Fury's secret government defense agency, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Which is a lot easier than saying, "Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.")
The pilot, which is set to start production immediately, will be co-written by Joss Whedon along with brother, Jed Whedon (Dollhouse, Spartacus: Vengeance), and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.)
How will the Marvel's grand movieverse transition to television?
While it is currently unknown as to whether Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury or even Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill would be featured in some capacity, what does seem clear, is that the show will allow us to dig further into the live-action Marvel Universe which essentially began with 2008's Iron Man.
However, comments by Joss Whedon to Variety seem to imply that, despite its existence in the same universe, that it will (at least, mostly,) operate outside the scope of events chronicled in the films. According to Whedon:
"(T)he storyline for the proposed series will be largely "autonomous" from the "Avengers" sequel feature that is also in the works. The series will revolve around the activities of the top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D espionage org featured in "Avengers."
Such autonomy is understandable since the films are full of A-list stars whose regular involvement on the show would not be feasible. However. the show does have the potential to enhance the overall franchise and occasional guest-starring roles from the film stars would have to be possible.
It is does appear that this show could represent Marvel turning into a direction similar to the Star Trek franchise in its ability to transcend all mediums.